It seems like you’ll be punching a clock forever, right? Well, one day, you’ll likely stop spending 9 to 5 at a desk and will enjoy your golden years in retirement. But that’s assuming everything plays out nicely and you have enough money set aside to do so. Stressful, right?
Well, according to a 2016 Retirement Income Strategies and Expectations survey by Franklin Templeton Investments, 70% of millennials are stressed and anxious about saving for retirement. So if you’re one of the millennials who gets anxiety every time mum or dad brings up the importance of your retirement funds, take a deep breath.
We’ve got 50 easy-to-digest ways that can get you on the right track today so you’re ready to celebrate in style once your 65th birthday rolls around.
- Start Now
“It’s never too late, and it’s never too early, to start saving for retirement,” Ty J. Young, CEO of Ty J. Young, Inc., a nationwide wealth management firm, said.
- Don’t Fear Your Finances
“A healthy relationship with money is absolutely crucial,” Attila Morgan, Nuvision Credit Union’s manager of community engagement and public relations, said. If you shy away from planning for retirement, you’ll pay the consequences down the line.
- Think About How Much You’ll Need
“It’s crucial that you know how much money you will need in retirement,” Roger Cowen, a retirement planner and owner of Cowen Tax Advisory Group in Hartford, Connecticut, said. This way, you’ll have an easier time figuring out an amount to save or invest. Don’t forget about inflation.
- Pay Your Savings Account
There are bills that must be paid but you also need to pay yourself. This doesn’t mean buy something new — it means putting money aside for your future. As Warren Buffett said, “Don’t save what’s left after spending — spend what’s left after saving.”
- Avoid the Couch Cushions
You won’t gain anything from hiding money under the mattress or in the couch cushion. Take that money to the bank. Sure, interest rates may not be high, but it’s still extra money you wouldn’t have had otherwise.
- Make Sure You Have a Rainy Day Fund …
Experts generally recommend having at least three months worth of expenses socked away for emergencies. The amount you’ll need will change over time, so make sure it stays at the level you’d need.
- … & Only Withdraw in Emergencies
You’ll want to use your emergency fund for “unexpected events, rather than dipping into your retirement savings,” Chad Smith, wealth management strategist at HD Vest, financial services firm in Irving, Texas, said.
- Set Up Automatic Transfers
“Having the money directly transferred will make [saving] easier,” Cowen said.
- Avoid Duplicates
If you’re paying for multiple streaming services as well as cable, decide what you can cut. Same goes for multiple magazine subscriptions that you read online. Anywhere you’re doubling up, try to cut back.
- Maintain Good Credit Card Habits
“Start small. Pay on time and pay off the balance in full at the end of each month,” Cowen said. This can help you maintain good credit.
- Monitor Your Credit Scores
“Know your credit score and monitor it often,” Marc Cenedella, CEO of career website Ladders, said. Having good credit can help you get better terms and conditions “when it comes to taking out a line of credit or mortgage, which will make a big difference in your ability to retire at 65.” (Not sure where your credit stands? Find out right here on Credit.com.)
- Invest in the Stock Market
“I think millennials are making a big mistake by not investing,” James Goodnow, an attorney at Fennemore Craig in Phoenix, Arizona, said. “If you take a long-term horizon, the market is still a safe bet.”
- Don’t Shy Away Entirely From Risks
“We as millennials are in a fortunate position,” Goodnow said. “Because of our age, we are able to weather storms in ways that investors from other generations cannot. If there is another dip or crash, we have time on our side to help us recover.”
- Utilise Your Company Matching
“If you aren’t contributing enough to get the free match from your employer, you are throwing money away,” Cowen said.