If you’re having some doubts about your retirement savings plan, you’re not alone. Surveys suggest that one-third of people aren’t confident in their financial security through retirement, and that one-quarter of people expect to work into their 70s.
There’s no one-size-fits-all plan to guarantee financial success in your golden years, but there are a handful of important strategies that people of any age can use. Consider adopting these plans to help you retire with the right amount saved up.
1. Save the right amount
If you want to meet your retirement goals, you have to save the right amount. It’s not the most exciting part of your retirement plan, but it’s the most important. This applies to every person and household, regardless of your age.
It’s tough to say exactly how much you need to save, but the general guideline is 15% to 30% of your income. It really depends on the amount you make, what rate of return you can achieve on your savings, and how much cash flow you’ll require in retirement. Regardless, you’re going to struggle to retire comfortably if you don’t regularly reach that 15% savings rate.
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The best savers are the ones who keep score. They set aside a specific amount of each paycheck, keep a budget, and track where all their money is going. If you can direct deposit a certain amount of income so that it goes into an account that’s separate from your checking account, then you’ll have an advantage. Financial planners often recommend “paying yourself first”, meaning that savings should be the first place your income flows, rather than simply being what’s left after you’re done spending.
Don’t make it hard to stay disciplined, and measure your progress.
2. Take full advantage of retirement account benefits
Make sure you’re using all the tools at your disposal. If your employer offers a 401(k) match, it’s probably a good idea to contribute up to the amount they’ll match. Anything short of that leaves money on the table.
Special tax treatment in retirement accounts can also be huge for your financial plan. Young professionals should consider a Roth IRA. Roth contributions won’t reduce your taxable income, but these accounts grow and can be distributed tax-free in retirement. That makes them perfect for people who haven’t …….