Self funding one’s own retirement may be a foreign concept to most people today, but with the looming uncertainty of the future of Social Security, it is a necessary endeavor that everyone should strongly consider. It never hurts to prepare for unforeseen circumstances that could affect someone’s retirement. Making an effort to take financial matters into one’s own hands could not only help in the long run, but the benefits of doing so can be greater than one might expect.

Reduce debts and aim to eliminate them completely. Start by contacting credit card companies and asking for a reduction to the lowest possible interest rate they have. Choose the one that gives the best rate and consolidate all cards into that one. Doing this keeps all credit card debt confined to one place and makes it easier to keep track of. Make sure to pay the minimum payment (or more) due on time each month.

No matter the amount, always save something from every paycheck towards the future. Create a savings plan by considering what things can be cut back on or eliminated completely in order to save more money. One may also consider using their property as a way to pad their savings. Choose wisely between what things are needed versus the things that are wanted.

Stay out of debt by using only cash or a debit card when making purchases. Make it a point not to use any more credit cards. In fact, one may even want to shred or cut up all of their credit cards. It may be an extreme measure, but doing so will eliminate the temptation to use them again. However, someone who is strong willed may want to keep one and use it only in the case of an absolute emergency.

Over the last few years, many people have begun to create their financial portfolios by taking a hands on approach to investing and diversifying their money. Buying shares and getting into the stock market is not as complicated or difficult as it may have been years ago for the average person.

Whatever the age, it’s never too late to start with a strategic and disciplined plan to achieve one’s financial goals for retirement.

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.