By the time many people hit their 30s, they’ve started to establish a career and their income has been increasing … So it should be simple to save money for retirement, right?
Your 30s can be financially stressful. Many 30-somethings buy a home and take on a monthly mortgage. They start a family. They might be paying off student loans. And they have credit card debt.
But that should be no excuse to put off saving for retirement. Your long-term goal should be to be financially fit when you quit working.
Experts advise that you watch your spending now so you can be saving for the future.
They recommend that you don’t buy a bigger house than you actually need, and that you always try to pay your credit cards off at the end of each month – or at least pay as much as you can to help keep interest charges down.
And the experts say you should always be thinking about the future.
Here are some tips to help you aim for a comfortable retirement when the day comes:
Invest for the future
- When accepting a job, make sure to consider the benefits. It’s a great thing if your employer offers something like 401(k) plan, but it’s even better if they offer some form of matching funds and possibly even profit sharing. That’s free money coming your way.
- Contribute as much as you can to your retirement plan. The more you put in now, the more you’ll have in the future, and the more you’ll earn from compounding – where the money you make from your investments starts making money as well. If possible, you should be contributing 10% or more of your salary toward retirement.
- Study your investment options. While it’s good to have a diverse portfolio, the younger you are the more aggressive you can be. Study your options or consult a trusted financial advisor.
- If you didn’t start contributing to a retirement account in your 20s, don’t waste any more time. Putting your money to work now will give you a better payout down the road.
Always save when you can
- Experts recommend that you maintain an emergency savings account in a bank or credit union. This is money that you can get to quickly for things like unexpected medical bills or car repairs. You should have enough on hand to cover at least three months of normal expenses – more if possible.
- If you have kids, consider starting a college savings account, but make sure this is not at the expense of saving for retirement.
It might all sound like a lot of work, but saving for your future now will make it all worthwhile later.