Millions of Americans make the mistake of waiting until their golden years before saving for retirement. The fact is that we simply don’t know what the future holds for us, and as such, we should begin saving for our retirement at much earlier age. Doing so will ensure that we’re able to enjoy the later years of our life without having to worry about work.
Let me first say that you’re never to young to start saving for retirement. According to the United States Department of Labor, the average American spends approximately 20 years in retirement. If your lifestyle and medical expenses cost roughly $50,000 a year, you’ll need $1 million to sustain your retirement. As you can see from that example, the sooner you start saving for retirement, the better.
You should know by now that saving for retirement at an early age is important, but where do you actually start? If you haven’t done so already, check with your employer to see if they offer a retirement plan such as a 401(k). Signing up for a 401(k) plan is one of the easiest ways to start saving money for your retirement. Basically, they’ll take a small portion out of your paycheck, add their own money to it, and place it a retirement account for you.
There are several advantages of using a 401(k) retirement plan, one of which is the reduced taxes. This means the more money you’re able to put into it, the less income taxes you’ll have to pay when April rolls around the following year. To really take advantage of the lower taxes on a 401(k), you should try to add the maximum amount of money possible to your account.
If your employer doesn’t offer a 401(k), perhaps you should try asking them to start one. When enough employees voice their concerns over an employee retirement account, the company may listen and respond by taking action. You can’t always place your retirement in the hands of an employer, though. Speak with a financial adviser about setting up an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). There are two types of IRAs – traditional and Roth, both of which allow the individual to contribute a maximum of $5,000 per year if they’re under the age of 50.
The number one reason why some people have difficulty saving for retirement is because they withdrawal their money too early. You have to treat a 401(k) and any other type of retirement savings account as just that – money for your retirement. When financial hardships occur, see if you can’t get a short-term loan from your bank. Taking money out of your retirement account early will likely cause you to lose your tax benefits and even accrue some other hefty fees as well.
When you’re ready to retire, you should visit the Social Security website to see if you’re eligible to start reviving benefits. While the amount you’ll receive varies from person to person, you can expect to get around 40% of what you earned before retirement. Along with an IRA and 401(k), social security will help to add some financial padding to your bank account during retirement.