Saving for retirement isn’t easy as it is, what with debt payments and skyrocketing living expenses. However, what’s harder is that the language of personal finances isn’t easy or user-friendly, and is considered a taboo, not-too-happy topic to talk about.
Read on the following suggestions to combat the language of retirement planning and personal finances and make the process of getting ready for retirement as painless as possible.
Talk to people
Money and finances are uncomfortable, yes, but that doesn’t mean that they’re taboo that you be putting off. Talking to one’s parents, siblings and a financial role model will help improve your knowledge and bring you one step closer to accepting that you need to plan for retirement.
Know your retirement needs
In order for you to get a handle on your finances, you need to know exactly how much you’ll be needing for retirement. According to financial experts, one will need minimum 70% of their pre-retirement income (90% for the lower range earners) in order to maintain the same standard of living, if not more, when they stop working.
Make proactive changes
One doesn’t need to make huge sacrifices and changes in the way they live to pan for retirement, but should just focus on the following: identifying and categorizing expenses to see where you can cut down. Budgeting and reviewing your investments don’t require more than two or three hours per week to be updated. Expensive cable TV packages, unused gym memberships, unnecessary shopping expenses, etc. can be cut down easily. Reallocating sudden windfalls to savings and retirement accounts rather than spending it is also a great idea. One small tip: Every year, simply add 1% more to your savings and watch your nest egg grow by leaps and bounds!
Retirement plan and tax breaks
Learn about your employer’s pension and retirement plans such as a 401k, and begin contributing to them early on. Remembering to take into account employer contributions to 401k and delaying/prepaying income taxes using the traditional IRA/401k or the Roth IRA/Roth 401k plans will be a boon to lower and moderate income savers, especially. If one is planning to switch jobs, then one should either leave their savings invested in their current retirement plan, or roll them over to their new employer’s plan or an IRA.
Also, one should watch out for early withdrawal penalties if they withdraw from the retirement accounts before the turn 59½ years of age. If you end up withdraw your retirement savings earlier, you will also be losing out on the principal and interest amounts, as well as tax benefits.