There’s a tendency to think of retirement as some distant event that isn’t necessarily influenced by everyday life. Truth is, decisions you make now could determine how confident you feel about your future retirement. Think wisely and consider the following to help improve your efforts:
- Live within your means. It’s tempting to buy the latest gadget or overextend your credit in an effort to “keep up with the Joneses,” but is it really worth it? When you think about how every impulsive financial decision you make can erode the quality, timing and certainty of your retirement, the answer to that quasi-rhetorical question becomes clear.
- Plan a budget. Every paycheck provides you with a finite amount of money. Pay attention to how you allocate it for bills, traditional savings, retirement savings and discretionary spending. Are there some opportunities to add to the amount you earmark for retirement?
- Establish small goals. Set yourself up for success. Establish small goals to shoot for – like saving $X per paycheck or per month. Once you consistently meet that goal, set a new one. Progressing with “baby steps” has a dual benefit: it helps you develop a healthy savings habit, and provides assurance that you can manage your money effectively.
- Take advantage of tax breaks. Your retirement contributions are generally tax-deductible. Maximizing contributions to your 401(k) or other retirement account instead of putting money in, say, your traditional savings translates to tax savings that could mean a little more take-home pay without shortchanging your retirement, or perhaps reinvestment into your 401(k) to “catch up” on savings if you meet certain age thresholds and other requirements.
- Identify the end game. What does retirement look like to you? Is it a specific age, like 65, or is it the realization of a dream, like traveling around the world or starting a hobby farm. Get clear on your retirement vision now so you can map a strategy to comfortably reach that goal. Let’s face it: Knowing where you’re going is a great confidence booster.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. For as personal as finances are, there’s a certain universal apprehension about seeking professional guidance. A recent research brief from Guardian’s 4th Annual Workplace Benefits Study found that 38% of workers would like to know more about saving for retirement. Relying on the experience and insights of financial planners, advisors or bankers can help guide you toward investments where your money will work for you. Making well informed, educated decisions with your money is empowering.
Participant-level investment advice is a service offered through CoPilot. The ability to speak directly with you about individual circumstances position you properly in terms of goals and investment needs. Then turning those goals into how many years you can afford to be retirement, and take your next steps with confidence. Let’s start a meaningful conversation about CoPilot and the future today. Contact us online or call 800.236.7400.
Nicholas Crary, CPFA - Financial Services Representative - firstname.lastname@example.org - 800-236-7400 x3381
Nick is a subject matter expert on 401(k), retirement savings, participant advice, small business 401(k), investments, education on options.