The idea of retirement looks different to everyone. To one person, it could mean moving to Florida and living at the beach, while another person might plan on spending their golden years traveling around the world.
Retirement may or may not seem like a far-off notion to you at this point in your life, but no matter how far or near it may be for you there are a variety of ways to give your retirement savings a boost. Best of all, these simple tips will help you if you plan on retiring in 40 years or 4 years.
Here are four easy and proven ways to give your retirement savings a boost:
If you’re overwhelmed by the idea of planning and saving for retirement, the best way to take the first step is to simply commit to start saving now, even if you only begin with $50 in a savings account. This will plant the seed for the habit of regularly putting aside a portion of your earnings for retirement. Just saving $50 every two weeks gets you $1,200 by the end of the year. Once you get used to automatically saving, try increasing the amount every few months. You’ll be amazed by how fast it adds up each year.
One easy way to contribute to your retirement savings without any effort on your part is to automatically deduct a set amount from each paycheck with direct deposit to a dedicated savings account. Again, even $50 per paycheck will add up to $1,200 a year. It’s an easy “set it and forget it” method that will help keep you on the right track with minimal effort on your part. Simply set the an automatic transfer from your paycheck so that a portion goes to your retirement fund.
If your workplace offers a 401(k) match? If it does, it should go without saying that you should take advantage of it if so. Many employers match your contributions up to 6% of your salary, which is literally free money for your retirement. Furthermore, a 401(k) defers taxes and lets account owners contribute up to $17,000 annually if they are 49 years old or younger, or $22,500 annually if they’re 50 or older. If you aren’t already taking advantage of your company 401(k) and contribution match, start now. If you are already participating, increase your contribution rate to the maximum allowable amount or as much as you are financially able.
Want to really go above and beyond to further boost your retirement? Open a Roth IRA. No, this is not the same thing as a traditional IRA. With it, you can fund this Roth with after-tax income, which means when you draw from it in your retirement, the money is tax-free. You can even withdraw from it multiple times without any penalties, fees or tax liability, which is not true of a traditional 401(k) and many other retirement accounts.
By the time you’re 62 years old, you are eligible to begin collecting Social Security benefits, although most people wait to do so until 67. This government benefit comes from money you have contributed with deductions from every paycheck you’ve ever earned, and it is a nice supplement to your monthly retirement income. But if it is your sole source of income in your retirement, you will need to maximize it.
That is why you should actually delay collecting on it as long as you are able, as your checks will be substantially larger the later you wait, and you won’t exhaust your benefits as quickly than if you started collecting your benefits at the minimum age. With better health habits, medical advances and a longer average life expectancy, people today are working well into the 60s, so it makes sense to hold off on drawing Social Security until the maximum age of 70 1/2.
Now that you’ve read up on four ways to start, maximize and effectively contribute to your retirement fund, you’re probably ready to start saving more aggressively for your future today. On the other hand, if you’re mired down with worry over how to pay your bills, debts and other expenses in the here and now, it’s hard to think in the long-term. Part of looking forward is starting with a clean slate, and one of the fastest and easiest ways to put your finances in order is with a title loan, especially if you have spotty credit and are unable to qualify for traditional loans or bank cards.
While not all of us have access to credit, just about everyone owns a vehicle. For many Americans, our cars are some of the largest investments we make in our lives, second only to buying a home. Just like a house, a vehicle has value, which means it has equity which you can draw from to pay off debts that are preventing you from planning for your future.
In as little as 30 minutes you could get the cash you need to stop worrying about the present and start planning for the future. The only investment you need to make at this point is the time it takes to do an online search for “title loans near me” and answering the phone when a representative calls you back with more information. The future is coming, whether you are ready for it or not. Why not start creating a better tomorrow for yourself today?