The United States Department of Labor reports that the average American citizen spends roughly 20 years in retirement. Consider how much money you spend every year, multiply it by twenty, and then ask yourself this very important question: Are you financially prepared for retirement? The younger you are, the more likely it is that the answer to that question is a resounding “no.” However, it’s never too early to start planning . . . and it’s even possible that early planning is your only chance at being as prepared as your future self wants you to be.
Start saving, and now.
It’s common knowledge that saving money is a good thing, especially when it comes to retirement. Still, many people mistakenly buy into the faulty paradigm that saving is only a worthwhile endeavor when huge chunks of money are involved. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Start your retirement savings today, even if that means putting your pocket change into a jar. The objective is to develop a habit of saving–a habit that will grow as your income does.
Again, it’s a mistake to believe that you have to have a lot of money to incorporate this practice into your life. There are many investment vehicles on the market tailored specifically to beginning investors and those investors with very little money. If you don’t know what your options are, then you need to talk to someone who does. Set up an appointment with a financial advisor to learn about investments that fit into your current lifestyle, as well as investments that you can aim for in the future.
Take advantage of Employer matching.
This is free money, and you need to take every bit of it that you can. It’s not unusual for people who are already stretched financially to skip out on the retirement funds their employers offer on the grounds that they don’t feel they can afford it, when the truth is that they can’t afford not to take advantage of employer matching. If you are privy to this great opportunity and find yourself questioning whether or not you should participate, then just consider how much money you spend on fast food, clothing, or entertainment . . . and then consider what it would be like to be retired and not able to afford any of those things.
When it comes down to it, there is no suitable excuse for not planning for retirement, no matter what you age. Even if you have questions, you can talk to a financial planner or go on sites like Smart Asset to ask questions. Fortunately, the process is a slow one, and one that allows for some adjustment. Ease into your own retirement savings plan comfortably by applying these concepts to your daily life.