8 | 3469 views
The first step toward a comfortable retirement is to stop worrying about whether you will have enough money saved and simply begin saving. While it is true that the earlier you begin saving the more secure your financial future will be, it is never to late to start building a retirement nest egg.
Pay Yourself First
Before paying any bills or splurging on restaurants or vacations, take a percentage of every paycheck and put it toward your retirement savings. If you "pay yourself" as if your retirement account is as important as any other bill, you will never miss an opportunity to contribute toward your future.
Ways to Save
One way to set extra money aside is to downsize areas of your lifestyle, including housing costs. A smaller house will mean lower heating, water and electric bills. Landscaping, maintenance and other service costs may also be reduced and you may also lower your taxes. If you leave your current community, seek a less fashionable neighborhood, a province with less provincial taxes.
Look at what you spend on transportation. If you have multiple cars in your household, consider selling a car and carpooling instead. If you need multiple cars, think about buying a smaller car with better gas mileage. Put any savings in your retirement fund.
Stay on Track
If you are 10 to 15 years away from retirement, you still have years to invest and save. Some experts say that retirees will need up to 70 percent of their income to be able to maintain their current lifestyle once they stop working. Keep this in mind when you plan for your retirement and contribute as generously as you can to your savings. If you set financial goals as early as possible and keep on track, your savings should weather economic ups and downs and grow steadily.
You don't need to tackle retirement alone. A savvy financial advisor can be invaluable. It can be a challenge to find an advisor who understands your needs and goals. Learn the difference between a financial advisor, a financial planner and an investment broker. Decide which type of professional best suits your needs and then seek a reliable referral to find an experienced expert.
Once you find a good advisor, don't hand over your accounts and walk away. Stay involved with your funds and educate yourself regarding investment trends. Investigate investments that seem to match your goals and ask your advisor about them. Particularly as you age, make sure your investments are diversified to reduce risk levels.
Keep Your Job
Work as long as you can before retiring completely. The more money you can contribute to your retirement fund, the quicker the fund will grow. If your employer offers a pension plan, examine the terms of the plan before you quit your job. Make sure you maximize your pension benefit and understand any consequences there may be when you stop working. If you no longer wish to work fulltime, consider a part-time job or take on temporary projects from time to time. Part-time income can help pay bills and keep your retirement savings intact.
© Darren Baker - Fotolia.com