You’re not going to work forever even if some weeks it feels like it. So why aren’t you saving for retirement? Whether you’re focused on paying off debt or paying for your kids’ college education, you’re just making excuses. It’s never too early for retirement planning.
All too often I have people come to me in a panic because they don’t know how they’re going to pay for the most basic of expenses. I don’t want that to be you so stop making excuses for not saving and start planning your retirement.
- I don’t have enough money to save. This comes from not understanding your personal income and expenses. No one likes the “b” word – budget – but we all need one. Gather income statements and bills and create a spreadsheet. Analyze your spending habits over the course of a few months. It’s likely you’re spending more than you realized on groceries and dining out. Take your lunch to work, make coffee at home, and dust off the ol’ crock pot for dinner. These simple changes will likely increase the amount of money you have at the end of the month available for savings.
- I can’t afford to automate savings. Women often don’t want to automate savings fearing they will need the money for an emergency today. The real emergency is when you don’t have money to retire. Instead, treat your retirement savings like a monthly bill. Add it to the budget as a line item and automate the savings plan. I promise you will barely know the money isn’t in your checking account and you will have more for later when you really need it.
- I have non-mortgage debt to pay. While it’s admirable that you want to pay off credit card, student loan, and other non-mortgage debt, you can do that while also saving for retirement. Begin by taking advantage of employer sponsored 401k plans especially if they match your contribution. This will compound your savings and all you have to do is meet the minimum requirements of the plan. If you’re a business owner, make an appointment with me and we can chat about the options available.
- I am paying for my kid’s education. College students have student loans available to them but retirees don’t have that same option making it important to fund your own nest egg. Find ways for your children to pay for school like taking high school classes for college credit, community college, working, and grants. While it’s great to support your children, there comes a time when it’s just as important to save for your own retirement.
- I still have time to save. One of my favorite parts of saving and investing is compounding interest. To get the most benefit, you have to save over a period of time. For example, saving $10,000 a year for 40 years, the total saved is $400,000. Invest the money at 8% annual return and the retirement account grows to $4.8 million because of compounding interest. The less time the money is saved, the less money you will have when you retire so start today!**
Not sure where to begin when it comes to retirement planning? Make an appointment with Shanna Tingom of Heritage Financial Strategies.
**This example is hypothetical and for illustrative purposes only. The rates of return do not represent any actual investment and cannot be guaranteed. Any investment involves potential loss of principal.