You’re only young once, and while many younger individuals tend to think their years of having to worry about efficient financial strategies for retirement are decades down the line, that is actually a common misconception. While it may seem bothersome or unnecessary to begin working on retirement strategy in the early years of adulthood, doing so can actually be very beneficial down the line when it comes to ensuring your own financial security later in life. Besides serving as adequate preparation, there are also a number of benefits you can receive from beginning your strategic planning early on.
Read on to access some informative tips for twentysomethings who are unsure of how to proceed with starting to save for retirement, but want to know more.
Finally Learning Those Financial Terms
According to research that was conducted by Pew Research in 2011 and 2012, about 27% of adults ages 18-22 admit feeling “not too” or “not at all” confident that they will have adequate financial resources — through income and available assets — to last them through their retirement years.
A major step in preparing adequate retirement strategies is simply informing yourself by reading highly rated personal finance books and learn some of the key terms in financial savings. These may include IRA’s, 401(k)s, and an understanding of assets — particularly as they apply to your own individual financial situation.
What is an IRA?
An Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is just one of the common terms tossed around in discussions of retirement strategy. As a type of savings account – available in the forms of a ROTH IRA, deductible IRAs, and nondeductible IRAS – IRAs are designed to help individuals save for their retirements while also offering tax advantages along the way. These can be set up at your bank, through an investment firm, or through an insurance company. Any person that receives or earns income is eligible to start an IRA account, and you will often see doing so as one of the top recommended steps when beginning your retirement planning.
What is a 401(k)?
Briefly, a 401(k) is a savings plan for retirement sponsored by an individual’s employer. With 401(k) benefits from your employer, a portion of your paychecks will be specially set aside for you 401(k), which allows for the gradual accumulation of savings over time. The money distributed into the plan is done so before taxes are taken out. Originally, the plan was designed to give individuals control over how their money is invested, and specific policies within the 401(k) plan may vary by employer.
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What are assets?
Assets generally refer to the items an individual owns that have value. These may be ordinary objects such as a refrigerator or a set of vinyls, or they may be your owned stocks, land/property, cash, and other investments. Assets increase your net worth. An investment strategy that particularly applies to retirement savings is asset allocation, which involves the balance of risk and reward through the shifting of assets according to the needs of certain investments and investors. I use Personal Capital to monitor my net worth and it’s completely free.
Every Little Bit Helps
One important thing to remember in executing smart retirement strategy — particularly if you are in your 20’s and just beginning the process — is that every little bit you can save helps. Retirement savings are supposed to be the accumulation of money over time that will be able to finance you in your later years.
Forbes recommends that people in the 20’s stash 10% of their income, increasing that percentage to 20-35% in subsequent decades of your life. Saving a little and saving often ensures that you won’t find yourself in a pinch later on in life. This is one game of procrastination that you most certainly don’t want to play.
Create (And Stick To) A Budget
Particularly if you’re not transporting your income by the truckload, creating a budget for your spending is another responsible way you can allocate some money for your retirement savings. If you have already dealt with student debt or have otherwise created budgets in the past for food, transportation, and other expenses, the same idea can be applied to retirement savings as well. Organizing your finances can be key to ensuring you establish a legitimate, worthwhile savings plan for retirement.
All in all, although your initial impression might be that your initial years of decades – your own roaring 20’s – are too early to necessitate retirement savings strategies, experts and increasingly publicizing that that is indeed not true. Starting your savings plan young is increasingly recommended by financial experts, and can only be beneficial for you long-term to ensure your comfort in your older years.
Author’s Bio: Sarah Smith