Your retirement plans are heavily connected to your career advancement and acceleration. When you get a raise, you can put more money into retirement savings. If you get laid off, switch careers, or take a few months off to refresh, you may want to consider decreasing your monthly contributions.
No matter what stage of your life or career you’re in, there is always something to be done with your retirement plans. Knowing how to save for retirement can help eliminate stress and provide reassurance that you’re on the right track to hitting your post-career goals.
When Should You Start Saving for Retirement?
Ideally you’ll start saving young, but not everyone is in a position either financially or mentally to start doing so. It’s not too late to get started paving your retirement plans now. If you’ve already passed through your 20s, you can — and should — still implement the advice given in the decades you’ve already passed through.
Likewise, feel free to move things up sooner if needed. For example, many people begin seeing great career growth and raises in their late 30s and 40s. However, maybe you begin seeing that in your early 30s. Whenever your career/job situation shifts, so should your retirement plans.
Retirement Savings Strategy for Your Twenties
You’ll begin to lay your retirement foundation in your 20s, so it’s important to utilize financial experts who can help you get on the right track.
Tip 1: Choose the right retirement accounts for your situation and goals.
Tip 2: Get in the habit of saving regularly.
Tip 3: Create a rainy day or emergency fund that would last 3–6 months if you were to lose your job.
Use this Finance Vision Board printable to help you determine what you’d like to achieve financially.
Retirement Savings Strategy for Your Thirties
It’s a good idea to focus on increasing your financial safety net in your 30s. Now that you’ve settled into a career, it’s also a good time to start increasing your nest egg.
Tip 1: Make necessary increases to your emergency fund. If you’re now married or have kids, this is an especially important step as your expenses are likely greater than they were in your 20s.
Tip 2: Increase your monthly retirement savings contributions. To do this, you can start a side hustle or create some passive income. Use the worksheet below to keep track of the income you earn on the side.
Use the Side Hustle Tracker worksheet to keep track of the income you earn on the side.
Retirement Savings Strategy for Your Forties
It can be tempting to ease off of the savings and opt for lower risk investments as you get closer to retirement. However, you still have time to recover from investments that go south while you’re in your 40s, so don’t get too conservative yet.
Tip 1: Reassess and shift your goals as needed. You likely won’t have the same viewpoints and skills as you did in your 20s, so it’s a good time to re-evaluate.
Tip 2: Continue taking risks with your investments.
Retirement Savings Strategy for Your Fifties
By this time of life, you’ll likely have a good nest egg built up. If you don’t, there is still time to build it up if you make the right moves. Seek help from a trusted advisor if you feel behind on your retirement savings or goals.
Tip 1: Utilize catch-up contribution opportunities if needed.
Tip 2: Consider future medical costs and how that will affect how much you need to save.
Retirement Savings Strategy for Your Sixties
At this point, the end to a long career is in sight. Getting things in order before you retire will decrease your stress in the years you want to be spending more time with family or enjoying your hobbies.
Tip 2: Avoid withdrawing Social Security benefits too early. Each year you withdraw before “full retirement age” (age 67) you lose money.
Tip 3: Make a plan for how you will strategically withdraw retirement funds. Whether you choose to purchase an Annuity or you decide to withdraw a certain percentage of your funds each month, it’s a good idea to make that decision ahead of time.
Saving for retirement at every stage of your life and career can make a big difference once you decide it’s time to leave the workforce. Use the tips above and the help of a financial advisor to guide you through the process.
Use the Monthly Goal Tracker worksheet to track your financial and retirement goals.