How To Start Saving For Retirement

Published on Sep 03, 2013 06:00 am

During a time when living from paycheck to paycheck feels like the norm, retirement savings may not even be on your radar. However, unless you start looking into retirement investments now, the idea of leaving the workforce to enjoy your golden years may be more like a dream than a reality. So instead of waiting to hit the lottery or hoping for a large inheritance to fall into your lap, kick off your future today by learning how to start saving for retirement.

Find out how much you need to save. Regardless of your age, it’s never too late to start saving for retirement. Start by running your numbers through a retirement calculator that takes your income, savings, age and other factors to determine how much you’ll need in your golden years.

Start saving now. The longer you save, the more you can grow your investment. Start saving now in hopes of a debt-free retirement so that you don’t have to rely on social security down the road. Even if you can only contribute $25 per month, putting the funds towards retirement investments early could mean a comfy future down the road.

Explore your options. Contact your HR department to inquire about a 401(k) matching program. Or, head over to a brokerage firm seasoned in opening IRAs. There are several common retirement investment accounts you are likely to explore, and each has its own benefits and restrictions, so inquire with a financial advisor before choosing. Add more to your savings by getting creative with your investment.

Establish routine contributions. Whether it’s every paycheck or every month, make it a habit to contribute to your retirement savings on a scheduled basis. For most people, setting up an automatic transfer directly from your paycheck to your IRA or 401(k) will help you avoid putting off saving and get you to your retirement goals faster.

Increase your amount. At set times each year increase your contribution — such as every quarter or twice per year — until you eventually reach your maximum retirement contribution limit. Currently in 2013, the max you can save towards your post-employment savings is $17,500 per year for a 401(k) and $5,500 per year for an IRA. For those 50 or older, a plan may allow “catch up” contributions to 401(k) and IRAs, but these too have contribution limitations based on your plan.

Find more ways to save. Free up more money for your retirement savings by living below your means. Start cutting the fat on your monthly expenses to not only leave you more to allocate to your retirement savings, but also help the money you save go farther. Master credit and financial planning, and be sure to save for an emergency so you’re not relying on credit cards should you need urgent funds.

Regardless of whether your retirement plans take you on a tour around the world or just give you more time to explore your hobbies, the only way to fund your fun is to start saving for retirement. And, the more money you put towards your IRA or 401(k), the more cash you’ll have to live out your dreams, hang up your work hat and start indulging in the relaxation you’ve earned.

This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.

Published by permission from, Inc.  © 2013, Inc.  All rights reserved.

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