All Financial Education

How to Prepare for Retirement

October 24, 2019

Tree growing out of jar with coins to symbolize growing savings

Have you ever had a day where the hours flew by? You were just going into work, but now it’s time for bed again.  What about those weeks where it is Monday, but now suddenly it’s Saturday? The week seems to end as quickly as it began. Have you ever been planting your flowers in the spring, but the next thing you know you’re putting your Christmas lights up? Does it feel like yesterday you were leaving the hospital with the newest member of your family, but now you’re helping them submit college applications?

Time flies, and it catches all of us by surprise sometimes.

You’re applying for your first job, and then you’re at your retirement party.

When thinking about retirement, it’s easy to put it at the bottom of your list of priorities. You have years to worry about it, and there’s always something that seems more pressing. Maybe you’re more worried about buying a new car, saving up for your first home, paying off some debt, or looking to go back to school. No matter what financial decisions you are currently making, saving for retirement is often not at the forefront of our minds.

In fact, in a 2018 study by Northwestern Mutual, 21% of Americans have no money saved for retirement at all. If you’re part of the 21%, it may feel overwhelming to start, but the time to start is now! Here are some easy tips to start planning ahead for your retirement.

It may seem like a small suggestion, but having a budget is the first step to success. If you are not currently saving any money for retirement and want to start, it is essential to look at your current spending and see where your money is currently going. This will help you know where you can adjust, and where your retirement savings can come from.

Know Your Options
Many employers offer 401(k) plans, and can make it automatic for you, and may even offer matched employer contributions. Utilizing an employer-offered 401(k) plan can allow you to save money from your paycheck before it is deposited into your account, which will help you avoid spending money that you plan to save. Talk to your employer and know what is available to you. If you do not have an employer-offered 401(k), Idaho Central is proud to offer retirement products like Traditional and Roth IRAs to help our members prepare for retirement.

Review Often
Once you make your retirement savings plan, it’s tempting to just check it off of your to do list. Planning for retirement doesn’t have to be stressful, but it shouldn’t be totally hands off! Set aside time to regularly review your plan, and adjust when needed. As you receive pay increases or bonuses, increase your retirement contributions as well.

Retirement is an exciting time of life, and can bring a lot of fear along with it. Set yourself up for financial success throughout your entire life by taking control of your retirement plan now.