Secrets of Retirement Savings

With the long-depended-upon pension fading into history, many consumers are apprehensive regarding retirement savings. Most simply don’t know what to do to get where they need to be. With so many options and advice, what is the right path to take?

Studies show that Americans are more insecure about their retirement options than ever before. With less than 20% of workers facing a possible pension, that option isn’t something you should depend upon.

It is more important than ever to take every opportunity you have to build up your retirement savings. This includes your IRAs, 401(k)s and taxable investments.

It doesn’t take a complete knowledge of investing to be able to retire well. All it takes is a few simple ideas.

Remember, the younger you start, the easier it is to retire well. If you are getting a late start, it is still possible to enjoy a comfortable retirement. Just don’t let anymore time slip away, you will need every cent possible.

It’s just like credit cards adding up to years of payments, only in reverse. If you start young, the more you save, the more years of interest you will be able to reinvest and the more money you will make. Let compounding work for you, not against you.

Take every advantage you can to save for the future. Only around 50% of workers are offered a 401(k). Only 42% take advantage of the plan. Don’t let this pass you by. Most employers will match some part of your contributions. This is free money. You should give all you can each year to your 401(k). Once the money is in your account, it multiplies tax-free.

The same applies for 403(b)s and other equivalent savings programs. Don’t throw the opportunity away.

You should take a good look at your 401(k) plan. When you leave the company, you should probably convert it to a professionally managed traditional plan. Why? Because self-directed retirement accounts return 2% less per year on average than professionally managed plans.

Look at the numbers. If you put $100,000 into an account earning a 6% average return and another $100,000 in an account earning an average of 8% per year, the difference is amazing. In thirty years, the 6% account is worth $574,349 and the 8% account is worth $1,006,266.

You should probably avoid get-rich quick ideas. Don’t chase hot stocks and sectors. Play the long-term game. If your company 401(k) plan is too costly, you should consider maxing out your IRA before investing into the 401(k) plan. WIth your IRA, you decide who manages your money. Many of the large mutual fund vendors are low cost and quite effective.

The key to successful retirement savings is to simply do your math. Contribute wisely and contribute as much as possible every year. Remember, if you sink enough into your investments, perhaps you will be able to retire early. Now there’s a nice thought.

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