How can you save for retirement? Everybody should ask themselves this question when thinking about their long-term financial situation. There are several avenues available to you, so here we've gathered some of the ways that you can start saving for your retirement.
You need to figure out how much you need to save. Fortunately for you, some calculators help you when saving for retirement. By crunching the numbers with one of those, you can set a goal in mind for your saving efforts. Having a clear figure in mind is a great way to start.
Start. That's the first step to saving for retirement. If you're a younger reader who has found yourself here, you're ahead of many people your age by thinking about retirement right now.
Many consider retirement as one of those things that are in the distant future, and it is, but you need to start preparing for retirement as soon as possible. Once you have read this page and maybe some other resources, you should start saving.
Add To Your 401(k)
Many employers offer a 401(k) plan that you should contribute to. Before you get taxed, you can throw some money into the plan without eating into your budget. This is the most common way of saving but many make the mistake of abandoning their 401(k) plan, so they won't get as much when they get older. Sometimes employers offer the Roth 401(k) instead. This is where it takes from your income after taxes instead of before, so you should consider your tax rate before settling for this option.
If your employer offers to match your 401(k), you should add enough so that the employer contribution makes a reasonable difference to your retirement pot. They may offer to match half of everything you put in (often with limits up to 5% of your salary). Assuming you throw $2,500 into the 401(k), your employer would throw $1,250 in too, increasing your savings by a third.
Maybe you're an older reader who wants to beef up their retirement savings now that retirement age is getting closer. If you're over 50, you can do just that by using the catch-up contribution system built into 401(k)s. Your yearly contribution limit gets relaxed and this allows you to give more in savings for when you eventually retire. This means that it's still not too late to save up!
Open An IRA
Another option for you to start saving is an IRA. This stands for an Individual Retirement Account and is designed for pension saving.
There are two types, traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs. Traditional IRAs are best for those who already have a workplace retirement plan and make a certain level of income. Contributions are typically tax-deductible and earnings will grow tax-deferred until it's time to withdraw after your retirement.
A Roth IRA is best for where you meet the phased-out income limits. Contributions are made after taxation but, when you're almost 60, you may be exempt from state and federal taxes on earnings that build up in the account.
Be Strict With Spending
The simplest but most difficult way to save for your retirement is to spend less while you're young. Save as much as you can and you'll be taken care of during your golden years. Simple things like making your own lunch or looking for the cheapest insurance rates will pay off in the long run. Get a budget and stick with it.
Don't waver from it unless there are emergencies that need to be taken care of financially. There will also be times where you get extra money, whether that's from a raise or other fortunate events in life. Don't throw that extra money into a shiny new car or something else unnecessary, you can split the new money and put half into your retirement plan. Then you still have half to treat yourself with.
If you've been researching retirement and pension-saving methods, you may have seen 'pay yourself first.' This saying means that you should make your retirement contributions automatic. By doing this, you take from your paycheck before it ever reaches you. This makes it easier to save, especially if you know you'll be tempted to spend it!
Maybe there isn't a simple automated process to pay into your retirement plan, in which case you should do it manually when you get your paycheck. Having others hold you to account is a great way to make sure you save properly.