(StatePoint) It’s never too early or too late to save for your retirement, whether you’re a young saver or approaching your retirement years. “There are actions you can take to help boost your retirement readiness at key points throughout your life,” says Jamie Ohl, president of Retirement Plan Services at Lincoln Financial Group.
According to a 2015 Lincoln Financial Group M.O.O.D. of America study, 92 percent of Americans agree that putting money into a retirement plan, like a 401(k), contributes to a more secure financial future. Ohl and the professionals at Lincoln are offering retirement savings tips for various life stages that can help all savers take full advantage of their workplace retirement plan and become more confident about their retirement readiness at every step along the way.
It may be tempting to spend your new paycheck exclusively on items you want or need now, and delay saving for retirement altogether at this point. Lincoln’s M.O.O.D. study shows that 78 percent of Millennials feel that payments they need to make now, like bills, housing, and other necessities, make it difficult for them to put money toward their future. However, your monthly budget should include a line for retirement savings. Now is the time to create a habit of contributing regularly to your retirement savings plan at work. As soon as it’s available to you, enroll in your employer-sponsored plan and save at least up to the company match. Saving a small but steady amount early on can compound over time and pay off down the road.
Keeping It Up
Life can get complicated as you get older. From mortgage and car payments to education expenses to raising kids, competing financial priorities can distract you from retirement savings goals. Resist the temptation to stop saving altogether or borrow from your plan. Lincoln’s 2015 American Consumer Study shows that 49 percent of Generation X and younger Baby Boomers would like to put more money into saving for retirement, but cannot due to present financial constraints.
Now more than ever, keep up the momentum. A financial professional can help you evaluate your retirement savings picture and identify ways to maintain savings growth. As you navigate your career and make job changes, be sure to evaluate a potential employer’s benefits offering — including a retirement savings plan — as part of your overall compensation. Learn about what options are available to you, such as a company match, investment choices and other resources to help you stay on track and keep a holistic view of your savings.
At this point you have done most of the hard work and the retirement you’ve envisioned is in sight. Continue to save and set aside extra money from income boosts or bonuses. Work with a financial consultant to reset your savings strategies and learn about other savings tools like income guarantee options that may be available in your plan. Familiarize yourself with Social Security benefits, and any other income sources you’ve secured throughout your career.
For more retirement preparation tips, visit www.lincolnfinancial.com. •
Being prepared for retirement requires some work and planning. For a more comfortable financial future, don’t delay your efforts.