The lifespan of the average American is at an all-time high, meaning many people will spend many more years in retirement than expected. Since a payday loan advance may no longer be an option once you leave the workforce, it’s important to plan for the future.
According to a recent survey from ING Direct, 44 percent of Americans between the ages of 24 and 35 years old don’t know how to start saving for retirement. While these people may seem young to be thinking that far into the future, it’s never too early to get started.
Develop Your Retirement Goals
To have enough money saved for retirement, you need to start thinking about numbers, advises the news source. Most people hope to retire by the age of 65, leaving them out of the job market for nearly two decades.
It’s recommended that you try to have a retirement account balance that is a third of your annual income by the age of 30, but twice your income by the time your reach 40. This requires saving between 11 and 15 percent of your annual salary. Once you start putting money away, compound interest can work in your favor and allows your money to mature over the years.
To get a specific idea of how much you’ll need based on your current income and preferred lifestyle, there are a number of planning calculators online that can help you on your path to retirement.
Pay Down Your Debt
Car loans, mortgages and credit card debt are all drains on your funds that can add up quickly once you’re on a fixed income. Consolidating debt at more affordable interest rates can help if you still have some left over once you retire.
To start paying down debt, concentrate on your accounts with the highest interest rates first while at least staying current on others. Over the years, accounts with higher rates can end up costing you more money, especially if you have a sizable balance.
Don’t Wait Too Long
Although it’s a good idea to pay down your debt before retirement, many people fail to start saving until balances are totally dealt with, says U.S. News and World Report. This can have a negative effect on the amount of time your money has to mature and make more money through interest.
Instead, open a tax-advantaged retirement account as soon as you enter the job market. If you’ve been working for a few years and still haven’t done this, do it as soon as possible.