If you are in your 40s, the retirement clock is ticking; you only have about 20 or so years until you reach retirement age. If you haven’t already started, you need to save for retirement now. Here are five steps to take:
Determine your retirement number
Some experts argue that you should be shooting for eight times your ending salary, while others say you should be building toward $1 million or more. In reality, your retirement savings are very particular to you. What’s most important is that you determine your retirement number so there’s no guesswork. Then, you can start building your plan around that number.
Start increasing your savings
Generally, experts recommend that you save between 10 percent and 15 percent of your yearly income for retirement. But that might not actually be enough, especially if you’re getting a late start. See if you can start socking away 20 percent from your paycheck alone. Try setting up an external savings account and have a portion of your paycheck automatically deposited there.
Save for yourself first
You know those preflight safety drills before takeoff? Like, “Put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others”? That sentiment holds true with finances, too. To help others, put retirement savings before other important money responsibilities, like college tuition for your kids. Sound harsh? There are loans to help with school, but not for your retirement.
Lower your outstanding debt
Tackle any outstanding debt you have and prioritize by starting with high-interest loans first, like credit cards. Seek out alternative solutions if your debt is too large, or it could compromise your retirement. See if you can consolidate your debt with a zero-interest credit card or a low-interest personal loan.
According to Financial Mentor, the value of a $5 latte bought when you’re 40 can compound to over $1,000 by the time you’re 80. Now, imagine how much money you’re missing out on by spending that extra $5 several times a week — potentially tens of thousands of dollars. Alleviate this monetary loss by spending less on low-priority items you don’t need.