Retirement should conjure up images of relaxing afternoons, travel, hobbies, and time spent with your family. But without a solid savings plan, the thought of retirement can sometimes spark anxiety instead. Thankfully, no matter how old you are or how much you've saved, these tips can help make your comfortable retirement a reality.
Maximizing Your Savings
When it comes to retirement savings, nothing beats starting early. Every dollar you contribute in your 20s and 30s compounds over the decades. But even if you miss this early window, retirement accounts offer a multitude of ways to save.
If, for example, your employer offers 401(k) plans with matching contributions, always try to meet those limits. Set up automatic deposits from each paycheck to keep your goals on track. Traditional and Roth IRAs also offer tax advantages that can pay off now or post-retirement.
Planning Your Lifestyle After Retirement
As you approach retirement age, you should start to estimate your expected monthly budget and compare it to your expenses. Be sure to factor in added expenses such as healthcare and new income like Social Security payments. Compare this estimate to your current monthly spending and downsize if needed to stretch your savings as far as possible.
Catching Up Later in Your Career
After the age of 50, most retirement accounts expand their annual contribution limits. This gives you a chance to stash away more savings when it matters most. You should also begin shifting your investments to a more conservative portfolio, shielding you from market volatility for a long, stable, and happy retirement.