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There’s no set date for you to kick-start your saving efforts when it comes to your future retirement. However, it is understandable if you feel like you should’ve gone ahead with those efforts way earlier. People often feel that way.
But the fact remains: there is no actual set date. Regardless of when you do it, you can start your way up towards that milestone at any time and still be able to reach it.
If you are one of the “late starters” and identify with these types of feelings, then here are some retirement planning tips for you to reach your goals easier.
Look for investments with higher rates of return
The more you can earn on your investments, the less you’ll need your retirement contributions. If you were to focus on the former, you could easily compensate for any lost time.
For example, if you were to start saving around $10,000 a year and earn 10% each year on average, you would end up accumulating around $650,000 in 25 years. Now imagine if you were able to find an investment opportunity with an even better rate of return.
Keep in mind that the return rate is based upon your asset allocation model and how many stocks you own. Furthermore, it is also influenced by the current status of the stock market as a whole. So be it, the best-case scenario is that you gain more significant profits in the long run. The worst-case scenario is that you suffer substantial losses.
After taking all of this into consideration and adding that we are talking about your retirement fund, you should try to play your cards as safe as possible.
To make the best of it, as always, you should aim for a balanced portfolio made with a diverse selection of stocks. This will be able to reduce your investments’ levels of volatility.
Save up more money
After being done with all of your monthly expenses, if you manage to have any leftover money, you could also opt to invest that same money into your retirement savings account.
Alternatively, you could also find out if you are eligible for any type of company matches (contributions to your retirement fund made by your current employer, provided for being part of their workforce), this way securing this “excess cash” without the need for coming up with it yourself.
However, always keep in mind that most retirement accounts have a set limit of how much you can contribute to it yearly. For example, a 401(k):
- For individuals under the age of 50, the limit is set to a maximum contribution of $19,500 per year.
- For individuals over the age of 50, the limit is set to a maximum contribution of $26,000 per year.
If these limits were to be restrictive towards your current needs, feel free to check on other viable options that could help you save more money in the long run.
Work for a little bit longer
As numbers have shown, life expectancy has noticeably increased in recent years. To provide a comparison, life expectancy when Social Security was created (1935) was an average of 60.7 years. Nowadays, it has risen to an average of 78.8. In a way, that shows that working for a little bit longer before retirement could prove more productive than ever before.
By doing this, you receive two main benefits.
- As you are working longer, you actually have to save up retirement money for a shorter amount of years.
- You have more time to earn and save that money.
You don’t even have to maintain a full-time shift for saving purposes. Instead, you could go for a part-time job that plays a supplementary role in your lifestyle, even during retirement. Depending on the type of work you do, a few flexible hours per day could easily allow for you to maintain your preferred way of life for your later years.
Look for a retirement with minimal expenses
Finally, there’s also the option of changing your idea of what retirement will look like by cutting down its projected expenses.
In this scenario, your best course of action is to create a budget that identifies and reflects how your future expenses could look like in your ideal retirement. Once that is done, you can start to analyze everything you listed and separate the utmost essential needs from those that only fulfill a material goal.
You don’t have to give up on everything you want, but shortening the list to those things you will have a use for will make a notorious difference in retirement.
Likewise, you could also look for more economical alternatives that also fit the same uses of some of the things you listed.