Everyone has goals, from starting a business and graduating from college to getting married, buying a house and having kids. The tough part in life isn’t figuring out your goals, it’s saving for them while saving for retirement.
You need to start saving for retirement as soon as possible, but you also need to set money aside for big, pre-retirement expenses. How do you manage do to both? These tips will help you achieve your life goals and save for retirement at the same time.
- Make an Emergency Fund – Before you start saving for anything else, you need to create an emergency saving fund. Without emergency savings, any kind of unexpected life event could derail your financial plan. Save several months of expenses in a high-yield saving account for a rainy day.
- Save Now – Once you have an emergency fund, immediately start saving for retirement. A little goes a long way when it has time to grow. If you start saving $250 a month when you’re 25, you could have more than $1 million by the time you’re old enough to retire.
- Postpone Parenthood – Having kids is amazing, but it’s also expensive. The longer you wait to have kids, the bigger your savings cushion will be. Having kids later can help you make more money, too. In fact, women who wait till their 35 or older to have kids make $50,000 more on average than women who have kids at age 20.
- Max Out Your Roth – Roth IRAs allow you to save tax-free money for retirement, and make contributions at any time without penalties or taxes. Max out your Roth IRA for maximum savings. Find out if you’re eligible for a Roth IRA
- Housing Compromise – Buying a home is a common goal, but its also one that can take a big bite out of your savings. One way to balance buying a home and saving for retirement is to tap your retirement savings for a portion of your down payment. If you have a Roth IRA, you can withdraw up to $10,00 tax and penalty free for the purchase of a first home. Read up on this concept on the IRS website.
- Delay Retirement – Delaying your retirement even a year or two can relieve a lot of the pressure of saving. This is partly true because Social Security pays a bonus for every year you delay taking your payments. This is also true because having more time to work and save means more savings. For each year you delay retirement, you add three years worth of money to your savings.
- Plan For College – Obviously you want to help pay for your children to go to college, but there’s often pressure to choose between saving for retirement and saving for college. First of all, its important to remember that your kids can always get financial aid for college, but you can’t get financial aid for retirement. Second, you can start saving for college by putting small amounts of money into a 529 account. These accounts aren’t tax deductible, but any distributions for college are tax-free. But be careful, because if you use the money for anything other than education you could be fined.
It is possible to have it all in life, at least financially. Use these tips to achieve your goals while saving for retirement.
How do you balance your life and retirement savings? Let us know in the comment section.
Don’t forget to check out other helpful finance articles on our website.