As parents we invest so much energy, time, and money into our kids – sometimes giving up things for ourselves. But in all this focus on ensuring our children’s future we need to make sure that we are planning for our own future as well. After all, I’m grateful my parents have a solid plan for their retirement years.
We are getting closer and closer to retirement and we often go over our financial plans to make sure we care doing the very best we can. Understanding retirement needs can be confusing sometimes and may feel as overwhelming as parenting can be sometimes. That’s why I am sharing these simple tips for helping you get started with easy-to-understand resources at AceYourRetirement.org.
Here are seven things to consider to help you maximize your retirement savings:
1. Minimize debt – but not at the expense of paying into your 401k or other retirement accounts. The less debt-load you have during your retirement, the more you’ll be able to make your retirement dollars stretch.
2. Don’t rely solely on Social Security – in fact people are often recommended to wait until up to age 70 to collect Social Security to allow benefits to grow more.
3. Consider whether downsizing your living quarters makes sense once children are grown and out of the house.
4. Make sure your beneficiary designations are up-to-date and talk too your spouse to make sure everyone is on the same page.
5. If you’ve been divorced but not remarried you may be eligible to Social Security benefits from your ex-spouse.
6. Enroll in a retirement savings plan. Even a little bit held out from each paycheck can really add up.
7. Never contribute less to your 401k account than your employer matches if they offer a matching program. Save more if possible and increase your savings by 1% per year whenever possible.
This time of year I’m often focusing on what to get for the kids. Winter clothes, Christmas presents, and so on. But this year I’m taking a couple minutes to learn from AceYourRetirement.org for personalized, simple tips on how to jumpstart our retirement savings. It was so helpful to me to see a couple areas that I could adjust to help improve the financial situation of our family.
It’s not surprising that our family is one of many doing this financial juggling act. Many Americans have almost no retirements savings, nearly half in fact! But it’s not too late to get started!
Today, many Americans households have virtually no retirement savings. This shortfall is especially critical for people in their late 40s and older, who are only years away from retirement. Americans know they should be focused on the long-term, with nearly 6 in 10 (58%) preferring to save for retirement over something more short-term, a vacation (40%).
But approximately 2 in 5 households headed by people age 55-64—over 9 million households—have no retirement assets saved at all. Among workers with access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, more than 7 million don’t participate. 28% of people with access to an employer-sponsored plan do not contribute enough money to reach their company match, meaning they are essentially leaving free money on the table.
Taking steps to take control of your retirement planning could have a positive impact in many areas of your life. More than half of people in their 40s and 50s say that feeling more confident about saving for retirement would help them feel less stressed (54%).
And 46% would be happier knowing they are taking care of their family’s future. I know I feel better after working through the AARP website AceYourRetirement.org. We worked hard for our kids and our family – and now we are working hard for our own future as well. What will you be doing to help ensure your own future?