Four Simple Ways to Get Better at Saving for RetirementSubmitted by MIRUS Financial Partners on October 19th, 2015
We all know that it’s hard to save for retirement. Retirement seems so far away. You have so many immediate needs that feel more pressing. Things like new cars, vacations, college and weddings seem more important right now.
However, being caught short on retirement is a serious issue. By the time you realize you’ve planned poorly, it may be too late to make revisions.
We’ve all hear we need to start saving early. If you haven’t saved as much as you’d hoped there are some fairly simple ways to improve your retirement savings strategy.
1. Increase Your Savings Level Gradually
Ideally you're already saving at least 15% of your income, but if you’re not quite ready there yet, see if your 401(k) allows you to opt into auto-escalation. This feature slowly increases your contribution percentage up a point or two every year. You’re slowly and steadily increasing the amount, but it will be easier to accommodate the impact on your take-home pay. If your plan doesn’t offer this option, set a reminder on your calendar to manually bump up your contribution once a year.
2. Invest Increased Income
Did you just get a raise? Then it’s a great time to increase your retirement contributions. Are you on track for a year-end bonus? Then plan to put half of it into your retirement fund. Do you regularly get tax refunds? Keep that extra money and invest it, instead of letting the IRS hold onto it for a year. Use this IRS withholding calculator to figure out how much should actually be pulled out of your paycheck for taxes.
3. Quickly Invest Savings
We’ve all taken steps to save a little money here and there, but have you thought about what happens to that money once you’ve “saved” it? For example, if you negotiate a better data plan for your phones, and find you’re now saving $50 a month over your previous plan, you need to immediately re-channel that money into your retirement plan. You’ve now increased your retirement savings by $50 a month. As you make other economies — reduced insurance, getting rid of premium cable channels, a paid off car —you’ll start seeing a big difference in your retirement amount. If you don’t take steps to quickly divert that saved money, it may well end up getting spent on less long-term expenditures.
4. Have a Financial Plan
When you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Make sure you meet with a financial advisor and map out a long-term plan for retirement that accommodates all the special considerations and concerns you have about your short-term and long-term financial future. Even though you won’t be able to stick to every part of the plan every day, know where you are heading, and how to get there dramatically in-creases your chances of having a financially-secure retirement.
Mark A. Vergenes is President of MIRUS Financial partners, 110 E. King St., Lancaster; 717-509-4521 or firstname.lastname@example.org Investment Advisor Representative offering securities and advisory services offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC., member FINRA/SIPC. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity. MIRUS Financial Partners nor Cetera Advisor Networks LLC. give tax or legal advice.