With the upcoming presidential election, this year is bound to be interesting. However, amidst all the political headlines, it’s crucial not to overlook your own financial security. According to a recent 2023 Retirement Readiness Report, a staggering 40% of workers feel uncertain about their ability to save enough for retirement, with GenX being the least confident.
Even more alarming is the fact that 30% of workers have had to dip into their retirement savings to cover immediate expenses in the past year. It’s clear that proper retirement preparation is vital, even if it’s still decades away.
So, how can you start preparing for retirement?
First and foremost, prioritize paying off high-interest debts. Inflation has been a major financial obstacle for workers, leading to higher interest rates. By eliminating expensive debts, you can free up more money for retirement savings and avoid getting trapped in a cycle of accumulating interest.
Next, take advantage of automation features, such as auto-contribution and auto-escalation. Automating your retirement contributions ensures consistency and eliminates the need to remember and make monthly contributions. This disciplined approach makes retirement savings a priority and reduces the temptation to spend the funds elsewhere.
To truly visualize your retirement goals, consider creating a “vision board.” This goal-based investing strategy starts with mapping out your ideal retirement lifestyle, including living expenses, hobbies, and travel plans. By clearly defining your financial dreams, you can work towards achieving them.
Additionally, don’t overlook the importance of managing short-term debt. Avoid spending beyond your means and make sure to pay off credit card bills within the grace period to avoid hefty finance charges. Be mindful of interest rates and strive to maintain a strong financial standing.
Make saving a monthly priority by paying yourself first. Plan for short-, mid-, and long-term expenses to avoid financial troubles. If you’re able to save more than anticipated, early retirement may even be within reach.
Lastly, set up an emergency cash savings account equal to three months’ salary. This cushion will provide stability regardless of the fluctuations in Washington and Wall Street.
Start taking control of your financial future today and ensure a comfortable retirement.
After 18 years as President and Founder of TheaterMania and OvationTix, Darren is excited to be on a new journey as the President and Co-Founder of The Institute of Financial Wellness. (The IFW)
For consumers, The IFW provides financial education, resources, and services that help people live their best life.
For Financial Professionals, The IFW provides proven sales and marketing systems, state-of-the-art technology, training, and support to financial professionals nationwide. The IFW helps financial professionals grow their practices to the next level! IFW Certified Financial Professionals are an elite group of professionals that, together with the IFW, help people succeed financially and live their best lives.