Don’t be afraid to save for retirement

Learn small steps to saving for retirement.

For people who are looking to one day retire, having enough money to live through retirement takes careful planning. One overlooked aspect of retirement is evaluation of one’s current spending habits and lifestyle to determine if the amount saved is enough to continue their standard of living through their retirement years. Missing this critical step can cause one to have to make major lifestyle adjustments such as downsizing their home or moving to a new location where the cost of living is cheaper than where they currently reside.

Between the sexes, women can at times have the most apprehension when it comes to retirement planning. According to Forbes magazine, of 1407 women polled, 75 percent stated having enough money for retirement was important to them. However, only 14 percent believed they would reach that goal. It is interesting to note that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make 77 cents for every dollar a man does. If a woman has lifestyle adjustments such as caring for children or aging parents that have removed her from the workforce, she will need to save more to make up for those missed years in the workforce. Secondarily, research has shown that women tend to not invest as aggressively as men. This can lead to missed opportunities in growing a potential nest egg.

Some good investment strategies include participating in an employer’s 401(k) match program; diversifying investments between stocks, bonds, mutual funds and certificates of deposit; and quickly eliminating debt. Michigan State University Extension offers financial management education seminars that could be helpful in budgeting that could lead to taking small steps to retirement.

Even if you believe you do not make enough to save for retirement, you can start small. Some banks and credit unions offer savings accounts that will allow you to save as little as $25 month and earn some interest.

Now is not the time to shy away from retirement investing. Take the opportunity to educate yourself about retirement investing. A good place to start is always your local library. Find the closest public library to you and get started!

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