- Start planning for retirement early
Nearly 70% of retirees said they would encourage their younger selves to start planning for retirement earlier in life: in their 20s, if possible. This isn't always easy to do, but even if you can only afford to spare a few dollars each month, it's worth setting them aside for retirement.
Your early retirement contributions usually end up being the most valuable because they have more time to grow.
- Keep educating yourself about finances
There is always more to learn about managing your finances. That's especially true for retirement planning because it takes decades, and a lot can change in that time, including the rules about retirement accounts and our own lifestyle and plans for retirement. We have to know how to adapt to these changes in order to keep ourselves on track for our goals and make the best choices for our money.
One of the ways to ensure we're able to do that is to keep asking questions and trying to do better. Learning more about how to invest, for example, can help you make smarter choices about where you stash your retirement savings so you can grow your nest egg more quickly and maybe even retire sooner than you expected.
- Stay healthy
Staying healthy may not sound like financial advice, but your health and finances can easily become intertwined. Focusing on your health by eating right, exercising regularly, and learning healthy strategies for managing stress may not help you avoid healthcare expenses completely in retirement, but it can reduce them. That can lead to a longer and happier retirement with more money to spend on the things you enjoy instead of doctor bills.
- Balance saving for the future with living for today
Saving for the future is essential if you ever hope to retire, but you also have to meet your needs and wants in the present. Not allowing yourself to do anything fun in the present can make it more difficult to stick to your savings plan long term. It's better to come up with a plan that's sustainable for the long term. Figure out how much you need to save per month to retire when you want. And if that's not feasible, consider delaying retirement or looking for ways to increase your income in the present so you can save for your future and have some money to enjoy now.
- Pay Yourself First
Set at least 10% of your pay to an automatic contribution to a retirement plan. Discipline = Freedom. When you make more money, try to increase your contributions accordingly. You may have to make changes to your budget, but it's worth doing because it reduces how much you personally need to save for retirement.
The opinions voiced are for general information and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.