Retirement is something that we all strive for. It’s the dream to live life without having to work, but are we taking the right steps to make retirement possible for us?
Let’s Get Down to the Basics
Retirement can be a tricky subject to understand, but it really only takes a little bit of math. Let’s say you’ve decided to start saving for retirement at 30. The earliest one can start receiving Social Security retirement benefits is at age 62, which leaves you 32 years of saving. If you were able to free up some of your financial obligations and contribute $10,000 a year (or $833 a month) to your 401(k), you would have saved over a million dollars because of the annual return on stocks (about 7 percent for inflation).
Let’s Take a Closer Look
In a survey conducted by GoBankingRates.com, about 75% of Americans over 40 years old are behind on saving for retirement. The average contribution to a 401(k) account in the United States is about $1,856 on an annual basis. Additionally, many Americans found themselves wishing that they had started saving earlier or taken a better approach to preparing for their future. In conclusion, it’s never too soon to start saving, and it’s also never too late to start.
How to Contribute More to Your Retirement Fund
The best way to contribute more to your 401(k) is to take advantage of free money. If you are working for a company that will match a certain percentage of your contribution, you should be taking full advantage of that. If your company doesn’t do this, it’s also best to contribute as much as you can to your 401(k) because it comes directly out of your paycheck with every pay period.
You can also open up a Roth IRA, which is an entirely separate account. You don’t open this with your company, this is something you need to open up on your own free time, although I’m sure that your company’s Human Resources department can help you with that. With a Roth IRA, you contribute whatever you can out of pocket, but when you decide that it’s time to retire, this money is tax-free.
It’s OK to Cut Corners
Since the majority of this article is basically saying to contribute as much as you can, you can also look at your monthly expenses and see where you can cut corners to free up more money. See if you can get a cheaper auto insurance plan, refinance your student loans, or better yet see if you qualify for a lower monthly payment on your mortgage. Mortgage payments are typically the most expensive bill of the household and most homeowners don’t realize that they may be able to qualify for a lower monthly payment.
Homeowners who qualify for a refinance can save thousands of dollars per year. If you put those savings towards your retirement, it’ll definitely help you be on your way to being better prepared for retirement. There are plenty of lenders who can help you with this, but if you don’t know where you start LowerMyBills.com can help you. It only takes about 2-3 minutes to get matched.