Everyone knows it’s important to plan for retirement, but taking the first step can seem daunting. Fortunately, knowing a few ground rules can help you start off on the right foot – and ensure you’re more prepared for the future.
Learning about investing, retirement topics and the markets is step one. Appreciating and understanding the potential of equity investment, recognizing that you might need a six-figure or seven-figure sum to retire – a retirement savings effort proceeds from these understandings.
When you have knowledge, you have more confidence and your money decisions feel empowering. A 2014 TIAA-CREF survey found that 81% of women who had obtained knowledge from a financial professional reported feeling informed about retirement planning and retirement saving, and 63% of women who had received financial advice felt confident about their retirement saving progress.1
Remember: Less debt leaves more money to save. In terms of student loans, most federal college loans qualify for the new income-based repayment plans which cap monthly payment levels based on family size and income.2,3
Here are seven words you will rarely (if ever) hear from a financial professional: “You are saving too much for retirement.” Most people save too little, and here is a case where erring on the side of caution is no error at all. Building your retirement nest egg through multiple vehicles (an IRA, a workplace retirement plan, an equity portfolio, savings accounts) can contribute to the generation of a larger-than-necessary retirement fund.
Save 10% or more of your income as soon as you can
Starting early allows you to take advantage of the considerable power of compounding. Putting away 10% or 15% of your annual income into retirement accounts is not excessive; it is quite reasonable, even necessary.
As a hypothetical example, 35-year-old Christina has already saved $30,000 for retirement with the idea of retiring at 65. She currently earns $70,000 annually. A retirement income of $100,000 seems like a nice idea for 2045 and the 20 years stretching beyond that date.
Assuming a 6% return before and after retirement, Christina would need to save 17.61% of her income, or $12,329 a year, to reach her goal under such parameters.4
Finally, at age 45 she has built $152,000 in retirement savings and earns $120,000 a year. To get that $100,000 retirement income for a 20-year retirement, she still has to save 14.9% of her income ($17,928) at a hypothetical 6% consistent return to realize that objective. Thus, the lesson: save, save early, and save more.4
Ask for raises or create new income streams
It can be hard to ask for a raise, but it is harder to live on a substandard salary or risk positioning yourself for a retirement savings shortfall. Your employer will not likely give you one out of thin air, so initiate the conversation and assert your value. Also, look for opportunities to make more money outside of your 9-to-5: the “side hustle” has become a way of life for many people.
Own your financial life
Don’t move into a passive financial role in the long term. That was the default role for women decades ago when they married, but even today, when one person makes most of the financial decisions in a relationship, the other person risks moving forward in life with inadequate financial knowledge. Actively managing your finances also means straightforwardly addressing financial problems or dilemmas as you pursue your retirement savings goal.
Above all, saving for retirement begins by pairing the right outlook and the right actions. Stay positive; stay consistent; run the numbers and make sure you are saving enough. To find out just how much is enough, consult a financial professional who can help you assess your saving potential.
This material is from MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information uses sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If you need assistance, engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.
Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. The Strategic Wealth Management Group is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS.
1 – tiaa-cref.org/public/about/press/about_us/releases/articles/pressrelease534.html [10/29/14] 2 – experian.com/blogs/news/2013/05/22/women-vs-men/ [5/22/13] 3 – studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/understand/plans/income-driven [4/9/15] 4 – msn.com/en-us/money/tools/retirementplanner [4/9/15]