Although experts suggest people save up to 12 times their current income in order to maintain their lifestyles in retirement, the truth is this number may vary depending on several factors, including the health of the person and their spouse, financial obligations, and more. Here’s how to get your retirement savings back on track if you have fallen behind.
1. Pay yourself first.
The key to building wealth is keeping a portion of what you earn. Many people participate in a 401(k) or other retirement plan offered by their employer. The employer may incentivize participation by matching a portion of the percentage the employee contributes into the account each paycheck. Contributions are taken from pretax earnings, thus reducing your taxable income. Basic employee contributions are capped at $18,500. If you’re over the age of 50, the IRS allows you to catch-up on contributions to your 401(k), increasing the maximum contribution limit to $24,500, an increase of $6,000.
2. Reduce Monthly Expenses
If you haven’t created a budget, now is a great time to start. List all of your income and expenses to determine where you can be more diligent with your target savings goals. Once you have an overview of your finances, look for ways to reduce spending, starting with non-essential spending. Then, create a budget and be sure to follow it. Track your expenses to hold yourself accountable to your budget. Another way to reduce your overall monthly expenses before you retire is to pay off any existing debts, such as a mortgage, car loans, etc. Retiring debt-free will liberate your income for savings or living expenses.
3. Downsize before Retiring
Many retirees choose to downsize after they’ve retired to reduce their living expenses. However, doing so before retirement may increase your cashflow in the short-term, while allowing you to become accustomed to your new space. If moving isn’t possible before retirement, look for ways to reduce your monthly housing costs instead.
If you are self-employed or you wish to save additional money for retirement, contact your financial professional for other retirement options Our Preferred Financial Planner and advisor is Amanda Johnson with Ameriprise Financial. She can be reached at 916.641.7400.
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