Saving for retirement is an important, ongoing process that most of us understand and want to either start or continue doing in some way or another. And the earlier you start paying into a retirement fund, the more money you’ll have to enjoy when you finally retire. Retirement might not be something that you are giving much thought to in your twenties or thirties, but starting now is the best way to minimise stress in later life and ensue that when the time to retire finally comes around, you are financially comfortable.
No matter how early you start, however, saving for your retirement and growing your wealth over time can be easier said than done. Today, most people are dealing with lots of expenses and growing financial demand, with the cost of living on the rise and salaries that are not following suit. This may make saving for retirement more challenging for some, but the good news is that that there are several things that you can do to make it easier on yourself and continue working towards your goal of being financially prepared to retire.
Open a Retirement Account
The first step to take towards financially preparing yourself for your retirement is to open a dedicated account such as a Registered Retirement Savings Plan. Any money that you pay into a retirement account will be exempt from tax until you withdraw it and start using it when you’re retired, which can make it easier to put away more money towards retirement while you’re working. And, bear in mind that although the cash will be eligible for tax once you withdraw it, you’ll pay less due to being in a lower tax bracket when you’re retired.
Get Employer Benefits
Many employers offer retirement accounts and plans that their employees can take advantage of. If you are currently working, it might be worth exploring any options that are offered by your employer such as a retirement plan or pension fund that you can set up through them to have them match your contributions when you make a regular payment. Along with being one of the best ways to ensure that you’re paying into a retirement plan each month as it will generally be paid directly from your wages, you can also grow your retirement fund substantially with employer contributions.
Invest Your Money
Many people like to diversify their efforts when it comes to financially preparing for retirement, and it’s a wise idea to consider further investments rather than relying on your retirement fund alone if you want to have access to larger sums of money when you retire. Investing in stocks can be an ideal choice for retirement savings, especially if you choose to invest in companies that are known for performing well and can yield steady returns. The good news for anybody who might be interested in investing in stocks is that it is now much easier for the general public to do so with various discount online stockbrokers that you can go through. Once reserved for rich and wealthy investors and businesspeople, purchasing stocks is now accessible to all with various websites and apps that you can download straight to your smartphone to get started. Wealthsimple is a great place to get started if you want to learn how to buy stocks. At this website, you can find a huge amount of information about how investing in stocks works along with automated tools to make the process easier.
Invest in Property
Investing in property can be an ideal way to generate a passive income and money that you can put towards your retirement. In addition, rental properties are one of the best options for retired people who want to continue making money throughout retirement as you can collect rent on a monthly basis regardless of your work status. By investing in rental property early, you can pay off any mortgages and other loans before you hit retirement age so that, by then, you’re able to make the most of a larger percentage of the income that your property brings in. Once you’re retired, you can even hand the property over to a property management company who’ll take a fee to manage it for you while you enjoy your retirement to the fullest.
Budget for Retirement Savings and Investments
If you’re saving and investing your money for your retirement, it’s a good idea to treat this just like you would any other regular expense. By working out your budget which includes your retirement savings, it will be easier to commit to putting aside or investing a certain amount each month without going over your budget or struggling to pay your priority bills. One of the best things that you can do to get into the habit of putting money aside for your retirement is to treat the amount you contribute just the same as you do other priority expenses like rent and utilities, which will help you make sure that it gets paid. Go through your income and expenses to determine how much you could afford to put aside for retirement, and consider any areas where you can cut costs to increase it.
Pay Down Your Debt
These days, some level of debt is pretty much inevitable for all of us. You can’t usually buy a brand-new car, a house, or other large purchases these days without taking out a loan or getting a finance deal. Debt is becoming more and more normal, with many people using credit cards to build their credit rating with regular purchases that are paid off in full or ‘buy now pay later’ services that can help you spread the cost of the things that you need. However, being in too much debt can have a detrimental impact on your retirement savings, and if your debt repayments are getting in the way of being able to put money aside for the future, you may want to consider the various methods that are available to pay your debt down. Debt consolidation loans can be an ideal option if you have several different debts to repay, or you can start by paying off the smallest debt and moving up to the largest using the debt snowball method.
Going through your monthly expenses to see if there are any areas for improvement is a wise idea for everybody to do on a regular basis. Over time, you might be able to access cheaper deals for utilities and insurance, for example, or you could be paying out for subscriptions that you don’t need any longer. Paying expenses that you don’t need to be spending money on is just wasting cash that could be going to your retirement savings instead, so keep a close eye on your account to ensure that you’re always getting the best deal and not paying any more than you need to when it comes to your regular bills. One of the best ways to regularly reduce your monthly expenses is to shop around for any services that you need. For example, car insurance is an expense that drivers can’t get away from, but you can save money by avoiding going straight for the policy renewal price and using comparison sites to see if you can get a cheaper quote from a different company to insure your car instead.
Consider Getting a Side Hustle
If you are struggling to contribute to your retirement savings with your main income alone, getting a side hustle could be the best way to boost your income and have more disposable funds to put towards saving for retirement once your priority bills and expenses are paid. Today, getting a side hustle has become easier than ever thanks to the gig economy, and there are more options than ever before for people who are looking to improve their earnings by taking on some additional work on the side of their full-time job. Whether you use your car to make food deliveries, offer an online service such as social media management, sell stock photos, or make and sell crafts, there are plenty of enjoyable and profitable ideas to consider when it comes to improving your financial situation and putting more aside for when you retire.
Sell Old Things
Most of us go through life accumulating things and then getting rid of them when they are no longer needed. From electronics to clothes, furniture and essential items, many people don’t stick with the same things throughout their lives. But next time you are having a clear-out in your home, consider if there are any opportunities to make some money from it. While general everyday items might not generate a huge amount of income, selling your old stuff before you throw it out can be a great way to make some extra cash so you have more to put towards your investments or retirement savings this month, even if it’s just a small amount more.
While retirement might not be something that most young people are thinking about, getting started early is key when it comes to financial preparation.