Saving for Retirement

Most of us are looking at the social security system and have been notified already that full benefits will not be available to us until sometime significantly past the 65 years old benchmark. Some of us are looking dubiously at the likelihood of ever getting a social security benefit based on the baby boomer generation reaching retirement age. Remember one thing……it’s never too late to start saving.

Saving for retirement has some tax advantages. In lower income situations, there is a retirement savings credit. For some people they can obtain a “match” of their contributions to a certain % of the monies they save. Look at this “match” as free money. You get it for doing something that you would have done anyway. If you have a matching situation in your 401(k) or profit sharing plan, if you don’t participate, you are passing up this “free money” opportunity. Additionally, you may deduct an IRA contribution to a traditional IRA investment account if certain criteria are met.

There are many tables that tell you how much you should put away and have enough for retirement. Unfortunately, there are no crystal balls to tell you what “enough” is. My recommendation is to look at your budget. When you make the decision on how much to save, keep in mind that if you went to college, you were in school until age 22 – with a life expectancy of 90, if you work until 65 that means you have 43 years to work and save for 47 years of retirement living. Keeping this in mind, you have to save all you can while you are working.

If you can put $50 per week away (or MORE based on my last statement), then do it. This money will accumulate over time and you’ll have something for your retirement. Most importantly, this is not a savings plan which you can rob in the event of a desire for something that is non-essential. Your retirement should be a high priority. No matter how young you are and how far retirement seems in the future, putting something away now can improve your lifestyle when you don’t have the ability to make a wage. Years pass quickly and habits made now can improve your retirement future.