With 2019 nearing its end, many of us are starting to focus on the new year, including ways we can manage our money more responsibly. If you’re approaching retirement, the moves you make in the coming year could set the stage for financial security later in life.
Retirement is one of the most common goals that many people have…and making the most of your retirement savings is essential. The looming pension crisis, longer life expectancy — particularly for women — and retirement seems even more uncertain than ever before. But it’s not unattainable.
Here are a few ways you can ensure that your money goes even further in 2020 and the years to come!
1. Automate Your Contributions
If retirement is on your radar, it probably means that milestone isn’t all that far away. Whether you have an IRA or you take advantage of your employers’ 401(k) plan, the easiest way to automate your retirement contributions is to have money taken from your paycheck when the funds hit your account. That way, you prepare for retirement without having to think about it. Come 2020, however, catch-ups are increasing to $6,500 (from $6,000 in 2019), and since the regular 401(k) limit is rising as well, you’ll get a chance to set aside $26,000 annually for your golden years.
2. Don’t Dip into Your Savings
Surveys have shown that the majority of parents will make withdrawals from their retirement savings to help cover costs for their children. While it may seem necessary to spare your family from more debt…you shouldn’t compromise your own financial security and risk a financial penalty for an early withdrawal. Any wise financial advisor will tell you that using your retirement nest egg, whether it’s the value of your home of years of savings, to pay for college is a big mistake. If you really want what’s best for your kids, ensuring you won’t be a financial burden on them down the road is a great place to start.
3. Create an Emergency Fund
Unlike a rainy day fund for working adults, in retirement a cash reserve acts as an emergency fund and allows for smoothing out those distributions from investment accounts.
In this case, advisors recommend having enough in the bank to cover a year or more of living expenses. That will help you avoid taking money out of those accounts during a dip or downturn.
There’s a good chance healthcare will be your greatest expense once you leave the workforce. That’s because you’ll be on the hook for Medicare premiums and deductibles, and you’ll also need to grapple with the coverage gaps many seniors face. That’s why it’s wise to set aside funds specifically for healthcare purposes, and to this end, a health savings account, or HSA, is a good bet.
4. Start Thinking About What YOU Want
Many seniors retire only to wind up lonely and miserable. Even if you’re not leaving the workforce just yet, think about the ways you want to spend your days once your career comes to an end, and determine whether you have enough savings to support those goals. Creating a detailed budget and working with a retirement income advisor are great ways to prepare yourselves for your retirement goals.
The better a job you do planning for retirement, the happier you’re likely to be during it. Follow these four tips, and with any luck, you’ll wind up in a fantastic position to enjoy your golden years to the absolute fullest.