While retirement might feel like a lifetime away, the earlier you start investing and saving, the more prepared you’ll be for anything. This is largely thanks to the ability for your savings to earn compound interest over time – and the more you’ve got in the bank, the more of that compound interest you’ll have when you punch the clock for the last time.
There are many different ways to start saving for your retirement right now, so let’s take a look at four of them.
1. Focus on Beginning Today
Even if it’s just a few dollars, if you focus on your retirement savings goals starting today, you’ll be amazed at how much you can save over the years with compound interest.
It’s easy to put things like this off and say that you’ll do it tomorrow. However, tomorrow will soon come, and then you will put it off again, and before you know it, you’ll find yourself at retirement age, with not nearly enough. Starting today is a great way to get the ball rolling and keep you focused on your future goals.
The best approach is to have an end goal, and make it as tangible as possible, so you know just how much you have to save. If, for example, you intended on retiring to the John Knox Village or one of the many retirement communities out there, you know that living there for X years would cost X amount.
2. Get Rid of Bad Debt
There is such a thing as good debt and bad debt. Good debt is something like a student loan, whereas bad debt is more like credit cards. While you may not be too worried about them right now, the last thing you need is to have them still hanging over your head when you’re retired.
You’ll also be able to put more money away towards retirement if you get those credit cards paid off quicker. To do this, consider a short-term loan. Something like title loans or personal loans are a great way to wipe out the bad debt – and most of the time, they offer flexible repayment options as well.
3. Start an IRA
An IRA is an individual retirement account, and it’s a great way to slowly over time build up your nest egg. There are two different types of IRA accounts, a traditional IRA, and a Roth IRA. A traditional IRA account offers tax-deductible contributions, while a Roth IRA is federal tax-free once you have hit the official retirement age.
As you can see, both options have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s up to you ultimately to decide which is going to best suit your situation.
4. Cut Down on Spending
If it’s been a while since you put your budget under the microscope, perhaps it’s a good time to do so. It’s easy to get carried away with spending when life is busy. From eating on the run to catching up with friends over dinner and drinks, you’d be amazed at how quickly you can spend your money.
While retirement might still seem like a long way away, saving for it now includes being sensible with your money in the present. Ask yourself, ‘do I really need to spend money on this?’. Your retired self will thank you.
If you’re still pretty far off retirement age, it might seem strange to start thinking about it already. However, life has a habit of moving fast, and before you know it, you’ll be thinking about withdrawing that retirement money. The more you can do right now to bolster it, the better.