It’s never too early to plan for your retirement, that’s what my mom always used to say. In fact, the earlier you start, the better off you’ll be. Use these helpful tips to make retirement as easy as possible.
- Max out your 401(k) match. If your employer matches your contributions to your 401(k), see if you can contribute the maximum amount. Experts recommend contributing 15% of your pre-tax income to your retirement savings, so take advantage of an employer match to help you get there.
- Reduce your debt. By reducing your debt now, it’ll be easier to save money for retirement and live comfortably. Start with the smallest balance, reducing that to zero, then focus on the next lowest. It’ll make you feel good, help create some momentum, and build your confidence to tackle larger debts.
- Diversify your retirement income. Try to have your money come in from multiple sources that don’t have the same tax on them. For instance, have some money come in from stocks (capital gains tax), some from traditional retirement accounts (regular income tax), and Roth accounts (tax-free withdrawals).
- Build an emergency fund. This will prevent you from tapping into your retirement funds should a crisis occur. You can start with a small amount but try to be consistent about deposits. You’ll soon build a safety net to fall back on when unexpected expenses show up.
- Reduce your cost of living. Look at all your expenses and see if there are ways to reduce or eliminate them. Start with small things, like packing your lunch instead of eating out every day. Then work up to bigger changes, like selling your home and buying smaller one.
Know your full retirement age for Social Security. You can begin receiving Social Security benefits when you reach 62, but you’ll get up to 30% more by waiting until your full retirement age. Check www.ssa.gov for more information.