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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

6 Retirement Tips for Millennials

Retirement, Tips for Retirement

If you are a millennial, retirement planning is probably at the bottom of your financial priority list at this point in life. Finding steady employment, paying off student loans, mortgage payments and kids are all likely front and center when it comes to your finances. However, just because you have other more immediate financial needs, don't neglect planning for your retirement. The early steps that you take in your twenties and early thirties can have huge benefits 30 to 40 years later in life.

Here are six retirement tips for millennials as you start your retirement planning.

1. Live well below your means. Many financial experts will tell you to live within your means when it comes to your personal finances. While living within your means will keep you from going into debt, it won't help you build wealth or fund your retirement. Instead of just getting by every month and living within your means, try to live below your means. Living well below your means can accelerate your wealth and help you to build your retirement savings.

2. Take the free money. Don't ever pass up employer matching programs for retirement savings at your workplace. Whether it is a 401(k), 403(b), Thrift Savings Plan or other retirement plan, many employers offer some type of retirement plan matching, usually up to a percentage of your contributions. This is basically free money that you cannot afford to pass up. In order to get a head start on your retirement, you need to take advantage of any employer sponsored plans while you can.

Read: 3 Tips to getting Retirement Right in your 20s

3. Use a free budgeting tool. In order to properly plan for your retirement, you will need to have a budget. If you don't know how much income you are bringing in and how much you are spending every month, it's very difficult to figure out how much you can and should be saving for retirement. There are several great free tools that can help you set up a budget. For example, Personal Capital will let you link all of your financial accounts, including savings, credit cards, checking and investment, into one central place. This is a powerful tool that lets you see your overall spending, savings and investments on a single screen.

6 Retirement Tips for Millennials

4. Start saving (or investing) as soon as possible. Take advantage of compound interest, and let your investment dollars do most of the work for you. Time to let your savings grow is the most powerful tool at your disposal. Even if you invest small amounts of money early on, they can grow to impressive amounts once you start earning compound interest.

5. Invest your raises. If you are already living below your means, this will make it easier to invest any raises you get as you start to advance through your career. There may be the temptation to buy a better car or move up to a larger house as your income grows. If you are serious about retirement savings and building wealth, don't let lifestyle creep get in your way. The same can be said about any windfalls of money or larger sums coming in from things like your tax return. Making the sacrifice now and investing this money will pay off hugely later in life.

Also Read: 10 lifestyle changes needed at 30!

6. Contribute on your own. Besides taking advantage of company sponsored retirement plans, it is important to save additional money for retirement on your own. Shifting even an extra $100 a month into investments will pay off. Remember that compound interest is your best tool for building up your retirement account, and as a millennial you still have time on your side. If you need help staying on track, consider setting up automated investments to a retirement account.

The best time to start your retirement planning is in your 20s. Even if retirement seldom crosses your mind, taking a few small steps now will have a big impact as you approach retirement.

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