According to recent surveys, only 32% of American workers said they felt confident that they could “live comfortably” in their retirement. That leaves a lot of folks who might not have things worked out for their golden years. The good news is that it is never too late to start planning. That will mean taking a good look at your finances and being proactive with your approach. These are some of the items you should be putting into action:
Reduce Your Debt
That is a no-brainer goal but one that not many people are actively working on. Paying the minimum isn’t the same as paying off your debt. Most credit card companies are up front these days with reporting on just how long it would take you to pay off a debt and what it will cost you in interest. You could be looking at paying several thousand dollars by the time that debt is clear. This is why you want to push to reduce the debt that you’re carrying. You can do this by making some serious spending cuts in your household budget and then taking that money you would have spent to pay off the debt.
You should also look for ways to transfer high-interest credits cars to lower-rate cards. Once that debt is significantly reduced you can shift your focus to saving.
Put Your Money to Work
As you begin to save money, you don’t want to just park it into a savings account to watch it grow. The problem is that it won’t grow. This where the idea of investing comes into play. That doesn’t mean investing in a cousin’s business startup. Instead, you’ll want to talk to a financial planner to see what kind of options there are for a money market account. This would be where you would invest in things like mutual funds or stock portfolios that will begin earning you dividends. You don’t have to follow the stock market to make money this way. Once you invest in these accounts, the money managers will do all the work. Your bank probably has investment opportunities like this that are worth discussing.
Think Through a Social Security Strategy
There will come a time in your retirement when Social Security benefits will come into play. A lot of that has to do with when you plan on retiring. The Social Security Administration uses a formula to calculate benefits based on earnings from 35 years of work that you earned the most. If you only worked 30 of those years, then you might consider pushing through for another five years. In other words, early retirement might not be all it is cracked up to be when you think about the next 20 or 30 years.