Retirement Planning For The Not-So-Well-Off: 5 Steps To Take If You’re Not One Of The Top 1%

Many of us live month-to-month so the concept of planning for our future retirement is hard to fathom. Combine that with helping our kids with college, caring for our aging parents, and coming up with a way to cover a major car repair bill or hospital bill and you have a recipe for disaster.

But the fact is, despite all of those challenges, there are some steps you can take now that will help you transition into a reasonably comfortable retirement. You may not live the life of Riley, to quote an old phrase, but by taking some or all of these steps, you’ll at least be doing what you can to give yourself the best chance possible for when you’re older and grayer. I’m not saying it’ll be easy.

Given how hard you work now to make ends meet and the nights you sit up worrying that any kind of unexpected occurrence could destroy all your dreams, I know you can’t imagine saving anything significant for the future.

So why start, you ask? There are many reasons. But the main one is if you take just a few steps now, you just may wind up succeeding.

Five Tips For a More Successful Retirement

  • Put something away every week. And start now! No matter how small, putting away something every week will allow you to take advantage of the miracle of compounding. Even if you save just $10 a week and do it routinely, at the end of the year you’ll end up with over $500. That’s certainly not a lot. But over ten years that $10 a week could turn into $10,000. In fact, even if you didn’t put in another dime, in ten more years that investment could double, giving you $20,000. So start out with whatever you can afford, regardless of how little it sounds, and make yourself do it every week.
  • Save your money in an IRA or other retirement account. The money earned in an IRA will be tax deferred, allowing it to grow more rapidly. Having it in a designated retirement account will also restrict your ability to take it out before retirement since there are penalties for doing so.
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