It’s more important than ever to have a retirement plan. By being smart and proactive, you can create a savings strategy that will easily carry you far into your golden years. Here are ten tips for saving for retirement:
1. Educate Yourself. Take the time to study different avenues for making your money grow. Learn what kind of 401(k) plan your employer offers. Become familiar with IRAs, investment options, stocks, bonds, and other saving and growth options. If you are married, brainstorm with your spouse, each of you educating yourself about the other’s employer and personal options for saving and growing money.
2. Set Goals. Create short- and long-term goals where your money is concerned. Decide how much money you want to have within one year, five years, ten years, twenty-five years. Write down these goals and make a plan for savings and money growth that will help you attain each one.
3. Learn to Budget. Spend less money, cut back on unnecessary expenses, and instead spending time with family and friends. Not only will it help you save for retirement, it will drastically improve the quality of your life.
4. Get out of Debt. Credit cards can be your best friend, but more often in our world today they have become our worst enemies. Pay off those bills and stop charging. If you don’t have the money, you don’t need it.
5. Create Financial Boundaries. If you are over 30 and among the middle to upper class, most likely you have gotten used to spending with impunity, taking vacations, picking up tabs, charging instead of paying cash. Stop doing that. Set boundaries for yourself. Decide what is more important, instant gratification or a comfortable retirement.
6. Learn about Risks and Rewards. Being smart about investing doesn’t mean being afraid to invest. Learning how low and high-risk investments work. Attend free seminars and read up classes in investing. Before you start spending real money, practice in a no-risk setting!
7. Relocate and/or Downsize. Location, location, location. If you are living in a place that has a very high cost of living, or in a home which requires a lot of financial maintenance, consider moving.
8. Work a Second Job. It has become common for people with full-time jobs to take second, part-time jobs both offline and online to supplement their income and save for retirement. Consider ways to make a little spare cash with a hobby.
9. Take Advantage of Laws, Tax Credits and Incentives. As part of your retirement education find out everything you can about how you can make the most of the government and the IRS to help you save money.
10. Think Positive. This probably should have been number one on the list. You create your own reality, so think positive and believe in yourself!