Saving for retirement doesn’t happen in one fell swoop. It usually starts with baby steps: First you have to enroll in an investment. Next it’s time to take advantage of any employer match available to you. And then you should be vigilant about increasing your contributions periodically.
Small Move #1: Seek Out Low Expense Ratios
An expense ratio is a fancy name for the fee you pay when you invest in a mutual fund. It’s essentially the percentage of assets that a fund charges to cover its administrative and management costs.
Small Move #2: Look Into Auto-Escalating Your Retirement Savings
Many experienced savers already take a “path of least resistance” approach to their retirement contributions by having a set percentage of their salary deducted from their paychecks.
Small Move #3: Roll Over Old Retirement Accounts
Whenever you start a new job, you’re likely also enrolling in a new plan. And, for many people, that often means juggling two, three, four or more accounts at any given time.
Small Move #4: Find “Areas of Opportunity” in Your Budget
As a premium client, you have access to your spending history in your account, which can be useful for locating what calls “areas of opportunity” for cutting back. Once you’ve pinpointed costs that can be trimmed, you can then consider transferring those savings into your retirement account.
Small Move #5: Ramp Up Your Challenges
Need extra motivation to push you to save smarter? This is where the challenges assigned. Since your Planner is providing you with customized advice that lines up with your financial goals, don’t be afraid to speak up if you might need a little pick-me-up in a particular area of your money life.
Small Move #6: Play a Little “Catch Up”
Here’s one sweet benefit to getting older: If you’re at least 50, you can take advantage of catch-up retirement contributions.
And remember that no matter how old you are, you’re not limited to keeping just one type of retirement account. Indeed, you may have to contribute to more than one in order to meet your retirement goals, especially if you started saving later in life.