| December 27, 2012

Do You Have a Retirement Savings Plan?

Planning ahead for retirement is essential for workers to avoid shortfalls and debt during their post-working years. Most people have an idea of the lifestyle they want to lead during their golden years, but several studies show that many consumers are in danger of falling short on funds due to their current financial picture and inadequate savings strategies. Lacking sufficient savings during retirement can put adults in a vulnerable position, as they may have little recourse for making ends meet. Employing smart budgeting tactics can help individuals start managing their finances in a way that may benefit them in the future.

Individuals who think more strategically about how their spending today will impact their savings tomorrow are off to a good start in making wise choices. Breaking poor spending habits can be challenging if they have become a habit over the years. Making small changes over time can help break dangerous patterns that may contribute to costly debt and limited savings. For example, constructing and sticking to a budget that accounts for consistent savings and limited credit usage can ensure that consumers have money for their futures and are not stretching themselves too thin. To accomplish this goal, workers should consistently deposit a fixed percentage of their paycheck into a separate account each pay period. In addition, consumers can avoid debt by placing limits on how much they can spend via credit each billing cycle.

Start making cutbacks
In addition to budgeting, cutting down on existing costs can also make a difference over the long-term. For example, consider that spending $2 per day on a small, regular coffee translates into $480 per year. Over a 10-year period, this converts to $4,800 that could be put into savings. Individuals who think about their major and minor purchases in these terms and the amounts they may save over the years may better train themselves to become more disciplined in their spending.

It’s also important that consumers start utilizing the resources available to them to help bolster their spending. For example, those who have not yet enrolled in an employer-sponsored retirement account are missing out on an opportunity to build tax-advantaged savings for their future. Other wealth-building strategies, such as low-risk deposits to higher-risk investments can also make a considerable difference in how much consumers can save over the years.

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