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If you think it’s too late to start saving for retirement, think again. By setting some realistic goals and creating a plan, even for a few years, you can create a nest egg that can help you live a more comfortable retirement.
"Time is money" may be a trite expression, but when it comes to saving, it’s still very true. Just remember the compound interest lesson calculations you learned in math class. That lesson still applies. In a few years, you can make a significant contribution to your nest egg with a disciplined savings strategy.
Put every possible dollar into tax-advantageous retirement savings plans, a skilled financial planner can help you get the most for your money. If your employer offers to match your contribution to a 401(k), take advantage of that important retirement savings vehicle. Don’t leave money on the table! Look for other tax deductible savings plans if you still have a little extra to save. Your employer may offer additional pre-tax saving plans or you could open your own IRA. In addition, special provisions in federal retirement savings law allow employees 50 and older to save even more due to special catch-up provisions.
Remember, a little cost-cutting now will help ensure that you enjoy a more comfortable retirement later. If you were planning to treat yourself to a new car, consider making due with your current vehicle for a few more years. Reallocate the money you’d use for a down payment toward your savings strategy. Also, take a look at your auto insurance coverage. If you’re paying for collision coverage for an older vehicle, consider dropping it. Take a look at your deductible, too. If you have a low deductible, perhaps $250, consider raising it to at least $500 or even $1,000. These two strategies could significantly reduce your auto insurance premium.
If you were considering taking an out-of-town vacation, vacation at home. You might be surprised by the interesting activities you have in town or a short drive away. Downsizing into a smaller home, hopefully with a smaller mortgage or none at all, may be an option. Even small changes like skipping the daily $4.00 cup of boutique coffee or packing your own lunch for work it can save you hundreds of dollars each year.
Consider working longer. Postponing retirement by just a year or two can help you save thousands toward your goal and also allow more time for investment strategies to pay off, it can also increase your Social Security benefit. Also give thought to what your definition of retirement is. Many people who fully retire find themselves looking for a part-time job because they’re bored. Instead of leaving your employer entirely, consider a phased retirement and continue to working part time for several years.
Page Last Reviewed or Updated: February 21, 2013