If you are not saving enough money to reach your retirement goals, don't worry. You're not alone. This is not the time to give up. Rather, you should pat yourself on the back for coming this far. Once you have a clear idea of how much money you'll need in retirement, you'll also know how much money you need to save each month to accumulate that amount. The big question is: "How are you going to do it?"
Here are some suggestions:
- Start now. Your money will have more time to grow.
- No amount is too small. Even small amounts, invested regularly, can add up.
- Start a regular program of "paying yourself first" through your retirement investment plan so the money goes into a savings program before you have a chance to spend it.
- Make the commitment to save a portion or all of your next raise.
- If you've made the final payment on a car, home or credit card, start putting the same monthly payment you've become used to into a plan-you may not even miss it.
- If you and your spouse both work, consider investing one salary for retirement.
- If you receive a refund when filing your income taxes, put your refund check in an IRA. If your refund is substantial, consider reducing the amount of money that is deducted from your paycheck for income taxes and increasing your retirement savings contributions by that amount.
- Review your portfolio annually. Changes in the markets, the time frame for meeting your goals or your personal life affect your financial plan. Most financial planners suggest that you review your investments once a year to ensure that the strategy you originally selected is on course with your retirement goals. Make sure your investment mix is still working for you. Remember, the time you spend on retirement planning may be the best investment you'll ever make.