It’s never too late to save for re­tire­ment

Cecil Whig - - & & -

Wait­ing un­til age 50 or 60 to start sav­ing for re­tire­ment is not ideal. It’s late — but not too late. Any­thing you do now can im­prove your fu­ture. Here are some tips.

KEEP WORK­ING. Ev­ery sit­u­a­tion is unique, but gen­er­ally you need to keep work­ing as long as you are healthy. You may be tempted to hang it up on the first day you’re able to draw So­cial Se­cu­rity ben­e­fits, but do you re­ally want to join the 10 mil­lion Ame r i c a n re­tirees who are cur­rently strug­gling liv­ing on So­cial Se­cu­rity alone?

SAVE LIKE MAD. Let’s say you are 50 years old and you be­gin im­me­di­ately by plac­ing $2,000 in a Roth IRA or a taxde­ferred re­tire­ment ac­count, which is in­vested in stocks, where it earns 8 per­cent an­nu­ally (his­tor­i­cally that’s been the longterm re­turn for in­vest­ing in stocks). You add $2,000 each fol­low­ing year (about $40 a week). In do­ing so, you’ll have about $210,000 by the time you re­ally need it at age 80. Or if you dou­ble that, adding $4,000 a year ($80 a week), you’ll have $418,000 in your ac­count on your 80th birth­day.

MAKE IT AU­TO­MATIC. Set up an au­to­matic de­posit with your bank or em­ployer, where a set amount is de­ducted from your pay­check and sent di­rectly to your savings or in­vest­ment ac­count.

DE­CREASE EX­PENSES. For the next 30 days, keep a daily spend­ing jour­nal. Record ev­ery ex­pen­di­ture, no mat­ter how small and no mat­ter whether you wrote a check or paid with plas­tic. At the end of the month, di­vide your spend­ing into cat­e­gories like gro­ceries, gaso­line and util­i­ties. Once you have ev­ery­thing in writ­ing it will be easy to see where you can make sig­nif­i­cant cuts to free up the money you need for your savings.

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