When it comes to saving for retirement, there are many question marks. How much to save and where to invest your hard-earned money are two of the most pressing issues. But by following a few simple steps, you can take the hassle and worry out of saving for your retirement. All it takes is some forethought and discipline.
1. Save regularly
Image via Flickr by 401(K) 2013
Even the slightest bit of savings adds up over time. The best way to do this is to make money right off the top from every paycheck. Whether it is $5 or $500, you’ll see results. To make this easy, most banks offer automatic debits from your checking account to a savings account. You can set this up online.
Also, if your employer offers a 401(k) or a similar savings plan, your company will take this money out pre-tax, so you won’t even miss the money. Remember that the earlier you start saving, the more time you will have to accumulate principle and interest.
2. Take Advantage of Opportunity
You don’t have to be a finance guru to take advantage of opportunities. As mentioned before, 401(k) savings plans are a great way to earn decent interest and accrue savings. Some employers match your contributions, which is essentially free money.
From an investing standpoint, remember that savings accounts offer very little interest. At the very least, open a CD or purchase US Treasury bills and bonds. The interest is exponentially higher and with zero risks. A little research goes a long way.
3. Cut Unnecessary Expenditures
Whether it’s eating out every day for lunch or buying a morning cup of coffee at Starbucks, unnecessary purchases hurt savings potential. Simple math proves this. If you spend $10 a day at lunch during the workweek, that’s $50. If you do that every week, it’s over $2,500. Imagine putting that in your pocket every year; it’s mind-blowing. Trimming the fat will save you more than you thought.
Very simply, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Put your money in high-risk, high-reward stocks, but offset this by investing in low-risk, low-reward bonds. Using this process, you can maximize your return. More specifically, in stock investments, diversification is key.
If you need a resource, Fisher Investments provides a wide array of reading materials for each business sector. So, if you require material on Fisher Investments’ investing philosophy as it applies to the Materials sector, Energy sector, or any other business category, you can get great information.
5. Live Frugally
Living on the cheap doesn’t mean you have to be deprived of luxury items or delicious food. You just have to hunt down the deals. Instead of purchasing a new car, buy one that’s 2 years old and still under warranty. Go clothes shopping at second-hand stores. Use coupons as often as you can. Scour the paper for upcoming deals. Become a do-it-yourself expert. There are many options when it comes to saving a bit here and there. You just have to be proactive.
These are just a few ideas that outline saving for the future. The best plan is to make your own. Know the difference between needs and wants, and figure how much money you need to retire comfortably. No one wants to work when they’re 65. Start saving today.
Do you have any more ideas on prudent financial planning for life after 50?