It can be tough to imagine retirement when it’s far in the future. But the decisions you make now about saving and investing will impact the retirement lifestyle you get to live. To simplify the process, try spending a small amount of time, such as an hour or two, working on your retirement plan. You’ll find small changes often make a big difference later, when you’re ready to step into the next phase of life. Follow these steps to improve your retirement strategy.
1. Look at your 401(k) plan.
If your employer offers a 401(k) plan but you’re not sure how much to contribute, take a few minutes to find out. Examine what you have contributed so far this year, and think about how much you’ll be putting in during the months ahead. “Making sure that you’re maximizing your contribution to your 401(k) plan at work is one simple way to boost your financial strategy for retirement,” says Nicholas Camp, president of NRC Wealth Strategies in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania. If you are 50 or older, you can contribute up to $24,500 to a 401(k) plan in 2018. If you’re younger than 50, the maximum deposit is $18,500.
Also ask about your company’s matching policy. If you’re unable to put in the maximum contribution each year, aim for putting in enough to benefit from the 401(k) match. Say your workplace offers to match 50 percent of your contributions, up to 5 percent of your salary. If you earn $50,000 and contribute 5 percent, which would be $2,500, your employer will add $1,250 to that.