As an empty nest is slowly creeping up on me and my husband, we are really starting to think more about what our future looks like with only two of us. Looking back at our kids growing up, it feels like it was fast and furious. We invested so much energy, time and money into our kids – and of course, we would not have it any other way – but much of that meant giving up on things for ourselves. I am sure many of you are reading this and shaking your head in total agreement.
Anyone who has scrimped and saved for kid’s sports, braces for one more of the rug-rats, those perfect new pair of shoes that just came out, or that must-have new make-up set, and of course, their very first car, knows what I am talking about. And maybe your list looks a little different than mine – but we can all agree that we absolutely gave up things for ourselves to give our children what they needed and wanted – most of the time.
But in all this focus on ensuring our children’s future, we need to make sure that we are planning for our own future as well. It isn’t like we didn’t stop, think, and plan a little. We have the usual 401k that comes with the career and adulthood, but unless you have some money-savvy people around you, just having a 401k isn’t always the best route. Without a solid plan of action, you may wind up in a situation 30, 40, or 50 years from now wondering why you do not have enough money to live comfortably and you are working at 70 years old. I don’t know about you, but I really do not want us to be those people.
So, while this time of year I am generally focused on the holidays, I am working on giving myself a little time to step up our retirement game. We still have about 30+ years before we can even think about retiring – unless we hit the lottery – so even though we have a solid 401k, I wanted to know what else we could do to make sure that our retirement future had a solid foundation.
I decided to try out this nifty little tool, Avo, at AceYourRetirement.org for personalized, simple tips to make sure I’m on track with my retirement savings. I have to admit, when Avo started asking me questions, I got a little nervous! But, thankfully, we are already on track for a pretty solid retirement. Even so, there were still some great action items that we can start taking charge of to make that future even better.
I have to admit – saving for retirement or even the thought of saving for retirement can be a REALLY intimidating subject for some of us. I am not sure if it is the financial part of it or just the thought of being old enough to retire. But Avo and these adorable emoji’s (yes, I am very easily amused) really made me feel at ease when talking action items for retirement.
It was so helpful to me to see a couple areas that I could adjust to help improve the financial situation of our family. And, it only took about 3 minutes out of my busy schedule. And, as much as I thought we were already doing, it led me to take a quick look at our % invested only to find that we could not only invest more but that my husband and I both can have a bigger % of a company match. WIN WIN for FREE money!
It’s not surprising that our family is one of many doing this financial juggling act. Many Americans have almost no retirements savings, nearly half in fact! But it’s not too late to get started!
Taking steps to take control of your retirement planning could have a positive impact in many areas of your life. According to a recent survey from AARP and the Ad Council, more than half of people in their 40s and 50s say that feeling more confident about saving for retirement would help them feel less stressed (54%). And 46% would be happier knowing they are taking care of their family’s future. I know I feel better after chatting with Avo at AceYourRetirement.org.
Do me a favor and visit AceYourRetirement.org and see if Avo has tips to help you jumpstart (or re-kickstart) your retirement savings. Then come back and tell me what you learned!
Here are a few tips to consider that may help you maximize your retirement savings:
- Make it a Family Affair - While gathered with your family for the holidays, discuss your savings plans and retirement goals, and what you can do today to achieve them. It’s important for everyone in the family to be on the same page about your financial goals and priorities.
- Don't Wait Until It's Too Late - Start planning now what age you plan to retire and when you plan to start taking your Social Security benefits. Earning a few more years of income could really help you grow your nest egg, and delaying when you start collecting Social Security increases your annual benefit.
- Do Your Research - If your employer offers matching funds for your retirement savings plan, make sure you’re contributing at least enough to get the full employer match.
- Put Pencil to Paper - Brainstorm ideas for earning money in retirement, such as turning a hobby into a source of income, or taking on seasonal part-time work.
- Use Available Resources - Visit resources such as AceYourRetirement.org to get your personalized action plan in just three minutes. Your digital retirement coach, Avo℠, will reveal the top three simple, practical things you can do right now to make sure your retirement plan is on track.