Saving for retirement is one of the most important financial challenges you’ll face during your working years. If you’ve struggled with retirement planning in the past, fear not. Although getting back on track will take considerable time and effort, you’ll be able to set yourself up for a more financially secure future by taking the following steps.
Start Saving More
The most important step you can take is to save as much money as you possibly can. This is not easy, and will require you to make lifestyle changes in order to make up for lost time. For example, you may have to downsize your home and cut back on travel and entertainment. Prioritize putting a chunk of your earnings towards retirement every month.
According to the Stanford Center, you should be saving between 10 and 17 percent of your money for retirement. Only half of people save this amount.
Implement Additional Sources of Income
If you’re struggling to make ends meet while still saving extra money, consider adding another source of income. Many flex jobs allow you to work remotely and at your own schedule. One option is to drive for Uber. You could also offer consulting or freelance work. Be diligent about adding your earnings from your side hustle directly to your retirement account.
Another method of recovering from poor retirement planning is to work longer than you originally intended. One reason this works so well is that it delays your ability to claim your social security benefits. By doing this, you may qualify for a larger monthly social security check in the future.
By working a few extra years, you’ll have more time to contribute to your retirement fund. Your money will also have a longer time to benefit from investment gains.
Although staying on the job longer is helpful, you can’t count on it. Many people retire earlier than they expect to due to health problems or job cuts. Keep your expectations realistic. You won’t be able to work for another decade, but two or three years may be enough to help make a difference.
Even if you’ve struggled to save for retirement in the past, a secure future is still within grasp. By exercising flexibility and discipline, you’ll be able to start bouncing back from any past problems.
Chris Jacob is a Registered Representative with Saxony Securities, Inc. Securities offered through Saxony Securities Inc. (SSI). Member FINRA, SIPC. Non-security products and services or tax services are not offered through SSI. Cadeau is not affiliated with SSI.