It seems like “retirement savings” is a huge stress factor in many people’s lives, in some surveys, Baby Boomers have even cited that they lose sleep over how they’ll fund their golden years. With people living longer, recovering from the biggest recession since the Great Depression and having more costs in their lives to keep up with, many Baby Boomers either don’t have enough saved or *gasp* don’t have anything saved at all for retirement! But, not to fear, even if you don’t have a single penny saved towards retirement (because you saved for your child’s college education, were hit big by the recession or simply were always trying to catch up), there are still things that you can do to create a retirement income for your golden years.
- Save: This one might seem like a no brainer, but actively begin putting money aside and looking at your budget. How much can you afford a week or month to put aside? What could you absolutely live without? Even putting away $100 a month will help to begin supplementing your retirement income. Also, think about what kind of saver or spender you are. Are you the type of person who goes to the store and buys strictly what’s on the list? Or do you get reeled in at checkout by all those products to buy? Figure out where your weakness and strengths are when it comes to spending and saving and address them accordingly.
- Where to put all this money you’re saving? If you’re employer doesn’t offer a retirement savings program through them (if they do, and they will match anything, put in as much as you can afford to!) set up a 401(k) and/or a Roth IRA. Although Roth IRAs aren’t tax deductible, the positive aspect of a Roth IRA is that, when you do begin to use the money, you can withdraw it tax free.
- Set a goal: It is a proven fact, that when we set goals, we tend to perform better. Ask any athlete, and they’ll tell you the goal they’re working towards. Same goes for saving.
- Unfortunately, the window to invest conservatively has passed for many who are trying to catch up with their retirement savings. But, that also doesn’t mean that you can just invest on a whim. Finding a balance in investing is key at this point, look into stocks and mutual funds, but make sure to research diligently.
- Work on eliminating debt: This is a biggie and probably the hardest to do. Employing some of the tactics mentioned in the points above may help: putting money aside, reviewing your budget and reallocating funds, can be a good way to start.
Even though many Baby Boomers are losing sleep, realizing that they may well live into their 90s and beyond, there is still hope for saving for retirement. Following these steps, taking a good, honest look at your budget and consulting with a financial advisor can help you get on the right path towards a healthy, happy and prosperous golden years.