Saving for the future can sound overwhelming, and we often see our future selves a strangers. But, our future selves need attention now! These three simple steps will help take the stress out of retirement planning.
//1// Know what you already have and set goals.
401(k)s (or 403(b) if you work for a non profit), IRAs, and Roth IRAs are all great ways to save for retirement. Most people in their 20s and early 30s only have a 401(k) for retirement, which is through the company you work for. Your human resources generalist can give you information on how your 401(k) is invested. Set a 30-year goals. Where do you see yourself and what do you want to be doing in 30 years? Having a goal in mind will give you motivation to save and max out your contributions.
//2// Open a Roth IRA.
Consider opening a Roth IRA on top of your 401(k). Any money contributed to a Roth IRA is automatically taxed. This is helpful because the money that you see in the account is what will be there when you cash it out at retirement. No paying taxes when you cash it out! Plus, you pay Roth IRA taxes based on the tax bracket you are in when you open the account. We will likely be a higher tax bracket by the time we retire. #winning
//3// Save 1% more.
Upping your 401(k) contribution by 1% can add a healthy amount to your retirement savings. As an example, it means saving an additional $33 per month on a $40k per year salary. If your company matches your contributions, this could turn into a savings of $70,000 over a 35 year period. Even if your company only matches 50%, you still have the potential to save an additional $47,000 over 35 years.