Saving For Retirement: In Your 30s
For many of us, our 30s are a dynamic time in life. During these busy years, jobs turn into careers and relationships are solidified by marriage or transformed by children. And, according to the online real estate database website Zillow, most people are in their mid-30s when they buy their first home. These big changes often come with big price tags, but are also no excuse to slack on or avoid saving for retirement.
Thirty-three percent of people ages 30 to 49 years old don’t have a retirement account. If you’re within this one-third of people, and in your 30s, you need to make retirement savings a priority. If your company offers retirement savings through a 401(k), start by discussing your options with someone in human resources. They can get you set up with a plan that works well with your income and goals.
If you already have a 401(k) in operation, consider making more aggressive investments. Since you are hopefully making more now than when you started working, it’s wise to consider changing or upping your retirement allocations with each raise. Even if it’s no more than a single percentage a year, keeping your savings in line with your earnings is a smart long-term plan.
Invest Time, Too
A 2014 survey conducted by Charles Schwab, found that only 11 percent of workers spent five hours or more assessing their 401(k) investment options. This is far less time than how long many of us spend researching a new car or a vacation! If the idea of investments and the terminology attached overwhelms, you might consider taking a course (choose from a free online class or a short unit at a community college to learn how to save that heard-earned money). Or, think about hiring someone to help.
A trained professional can ensure you are meeting your retirement goals. When you work with a financial planner, he or she will help you establish an account and assist with diversification – an important element to successful investment. A good financial planner can be invaluable when your accounts, and family, grow.
Steady As You Grow
Once children enter the picture, so do a host of excuses about why retirement saving is impossible. While it’s important to provide every avenue of support for your little ones, you must do so responsibly. For instance, starting a state-sponsored 529-college plan for your children is a great way to save for college expenses but it’s important to remember that they can always get a loan for school – you can’t for retirement.
What is your key takeaway for saving if you are in your 30s? Start putting more money away for retirement. While saving 10-15 percent of your income for retirement might be difficult, it will feel so good when you are comfortably retiring in your 60s.
Next week, we’ll delve deeper into saving for retirement in your 40s, while providing for your family. For more advice on navigating financials or saving for retirement, click here for friendly advice from the CommunityAmerica Credit Union Savin’ Mavens.