If you’re like most of the working population, you look forward to the day that you can cease the daily grind in exchange for days spent doing the things you did not have time for when you were working full time—hobbies, traveling or spending time with family and friends. However, being able to retire on time won’t just happen out of nowhere.
According to a recent study from CareerBuilder, 40 percent of working adults do not think they will be able to retire until age 70 or older. The study also revealed that 23 percent of workers aged 55 and older and 40 percent aged 18 to 34 do not participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan.
Now it’s true that working past what the government considers “full retirement age” (66 or 67, depending on when you were born) is not all bad. Life expectancies are increasing, so that means working longer does not necessarily mean working until the end of your life. In addition, working during your senior years has proven health benefits, such as the ability to keep your mind sharp. However, most of us would like to retire on time for the sole fact of not having our lives dependent on the work cycle forever.
If you are aiming to retire on time, you have to be proactive about saving for retirement. Here are three steps to take to push you in the right direction.
- Reevaluate your budget. Saving for retirement starts with being able to set aside a portion of your income to save. You cannot do that if your living expenses account for your entire budget. If you want to be able to retire on time, you need to take a serious look at your budget and find ways to reduce your expenses if you are not currently able to allocate a portion of your money for retirement savings. Look for ways to reduce major expenses, like utility bills or housing costs, or to make minor changes, like eating at home more often rather than spending money dining out.
- Start saving yesterday. If you haven’t yet started saving for retirement, the time to do so was yesterday. Contribution limits for workers younger than 50 are currently $18,500 for 401(k)s and $5,500 for IRAs ($24,500 and $6,500, respectively, for those 50 and older). If you are able to max out your contributions each year, then retiring on time should not be an issue. However, the majority of people are not able to set aside that much of their income on an annual basis, and that’s OK. Just start saving a set amount each month, and increase that amount gradually over time. Also, make sure your money is in a place where it is subject to growth.
- Establish additional forms of income. It never hurts when saving for retirement to have additional sources of income helping you out. Consider a side job—either a part-time job or a freelance gig. You could also look into investments that will generate extra cash, like maintaining a rental property. If you have an extra stream of income, you could dedicate it fully to your retirement savings and use your full-time income for daily expenses.
- Keep at least a portion of your money protected. The stock market is a volatile entity, and while it is OK to employ the stock market to help grow your money, you should also be aware that it can significantly damage your nest egg without much warning. To combat that issue, we suggest keeping at least a portion of your money in risk-protected investments like a guaranteed insurance contract. With this product, you still capture a portion of the gains of the stock market, but you will suffer zero of the losses.
If your goal is to retire on time, then make smart decisions to make it a reality. Working with a financial advisor that you trust can also help you on your path to securing a substantial nest egg.
If you want your money in risk-protected investments, but you still want to enjoy stock market gains, the Ty J. Young Inc. team can help. Call us today at 877-912-1919, and continue to follow Ty J. Young Inc.’s Retirement You Earned blog!