Everyone wants to have a financially secure retirement, but to get there, you’ll have to save and plan. Just getting started with a retirement savings strategy can be the hardest part of getting on the road to retiring richer.
Once you’ve begun, though, there are some things you can do to make the journey a little bit easier. The following tips can help you boost your savings without feeling like you’re sacrificing and give you the mental shove forward you need to keep up your momentum in striving toward your financial goals.
1. Save half your raises
The best way to save money is before you think you have it. That’s a big reason why so many employers have moved toward automatically enrolling their employees in 401(k) retirement plans, because it gets workers into the habit of saving, sometimes without even realizing it.
Yet the problem with most automatic enrollment plans is that they start you out saving only small amounts of your pay, often 3 percent. You can increase that amount yourself at any time, but your take-home pay will go down as a result.
The simple answer: Wait until you get a raise and boost your contributions at that time. For instance, if you get a 2 percent raise, increase your 401(k) contribution rate by 1 percentage point. That way, half of your raise will go toward your retirement, but you’ll still get the psychological boost of seeing your paychecks go up.