Preparing financially for retirement can seem a daunting task for anyone, especially when many financial experts recommend having nearly one million dollars available when you reach retirement age.
However, if you’re careful and deliberate about it, building your wealth so that you can retire comfortably isn’t difficult. You just need to start early and follow some guidelines throughout each decade of your life.
In your 20s
Create a budget. You may wonder how creating a monthly budget for your bills and expenses will impact retirement several decades in the future. With a written plan, you can more easily see where your money is going and avoid taking on debt you don’t need.
You can invest money into retirement accounts throughout your 20s, even if it’s just a few hundred dollars annually. If you had to take on student loan debt to fund your education, now’s the time to work hard to repay it.
In your 30s
Take care of your family financially. If you have children, you’ll want to draw up a will, purchase life insurance that will take care of them if anything happens to you, and start putting money into a college savings plan for them.
It’s also a good time to start putting as much money as you possibly can into an emergency savings account that will help sustain you if you lose your job. Investing should also be a high priority.
Continue funding investment accounts and take a look at your investments annually to determine whether they’re still working well for you.
In your 40s
You’ve likely accumulated some debt by now, whether it’s a mortgage, auto loans or other types of debt. Financial experts advise you to work during your 40s to pay off as much of that debt as you can. You’ll be making your money work for you, rather than for a mortgage company or other debtor.
As you pay off the debt, consider putting that money into investments. Also, as you reach your 40s, it may be time to start talking with your parents about the care they might need as they age.
In your 50s
This decade is the time to really focus on funding retirement savings. Financial experts highly recommend investing for retirement ahead of funding you children’s college educations. Now is an excellent time to start thinking about what you’d like your retirement to look like and how much money it will take to fund that lifestyle.
Continue to regularly assess your investments and take a hard look at how much more money you’ll need to invest to realize your retirement goals.
In your 60s
You’ve almost reached your goal. In this decade, you’ll need to assess how your retirement savings are doing in order to determine how long you’ll need to continue working. You may need, through necessity, to continue working past the normal retirement age.
A careful review of the income you expect to receive from your Old Age Security payments and retirement income can tell you how long you’ll need to work. This is also a good time to think about the best time to move into a retirement community or otherwise downsize your residence.
Taking the time now to plan for your retirement will pay large benefits for you. Deliberately building your wealth over decades instead of trying to save as much as you can just before you retire will allow you to enjoy the fruits of your labors for years to come.