Saving up a nice retirement nest egg isn’t rocket science. You don’t even have to be very good at math. Just live on less than you make and invest the rest for a very long time. 40 years later, voila! You’re there! But say you got a late start. Maybe you want to speed up your savings plan just a little or jump start it if you haven’t yet begun. Financial planner and teacher Rob West has a list that’ll help you maximize the time you have left. We see the disturbing statistics all the time— 1 in 5 Americans has no retirement savings. 1 in 3 has less than $5,000 saved. Why is that?
Rob explains the details of the following topics:
- Have the contribution to your retirement plan taken out of your check before you ever see it.
- Pretend your savings is a monthly bill with the same importance as your mortgage or car payment. You make that “payment” to yourself no matter what.
- Stop giving Uncle Sam an interest free loan every year. The average tax refund is almost 3-thousand dollars. That’s crazy. So you want to do 3 things.
- When you get your refund, put it directly into savings.
- Adjust your withholdings to put you close to “zero” for what you’ll owe in taxes next year.
- Note how much your paycheck has gone up and put that extra amount in the bank each payday.
- Put half your pay raise in the bank. That still gives you half to deal with rising expenses— while also boosting your savings.
- Use the “snowball method” to pay off your debt. Pay extra on your smallest debt to retire it first. Then take that extra money and put it on the next highest, and so on.
Next, Rob and Steve answer these questions at 800-525-7000 or via email at Questions@MoneyWiseLive.org:
- If you have no debt, an emergency savings account with about $30,000, a 403(b), a 401(k) and a CD, spend about $1,000 a month and have from $10,000 to $20,000 to invest, what should you do?
- If you have a single 59 year old son with no health insurance who only works part time while writing a book, are you or your other family members responsible if he incurs high health costs?
- If you have $75.00, how can you turn it into $2,000 in the stock market?
- If you're a welder and want to start slowly with a small business, what are some basic steps to do so?
- If you bought a time-share and have ceased using it a lot, is it normal to have a fee assessed to get out of the agreement?
- If you're tired of financial planner fees, how do you do it yourself?
- Should you ever pull money from your retirement accounts to pay a mortgage?
- Does day-trading add any value to the market or is it just manipulating the market?
- If have about $10,000 savings and $5,000 in CD, should you think about investing this money in the stock market?
- If you are 51 and your wife is 45, is it a good time to buy life insurance?
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