Talking to a financial advisor may seem like
a huge step, but finding out how much money it will take for
a comfortable retirement once you are in the career of your
choice will save you a lot of headaches down the road.
Financial advisors can help you create a portfolio of finances
that are diverse, yet won’t strap you for cash in the
present. They can take all of your expenses and future financial
goals and formulate a plan that accommodates your lifestyle
so that you aren’t starving or living without hot water.
Here’s a couple of tips to jump-start your retirement
savings if you don’t have the time to see a professional
right now: If your attitude is to “not spend so much
money,” change it to a more positive goal and call it
the “start to save more money” resolution.
When you get a raise at your job, don’t increase your
spending. Put the “raise money” into a separate
account and have your financial institution transfer the money
into that other account on a monthly basis. That way, you won’t
necessarily “see” the money, so you won’t
really miss it either.
Some companies participate in 401K plans. If your employer
does, sign up for it even if your company doesn’t match
your contributions. Even if the company contributes 25 cents
to each dollar that you put in, that’s still 25 cents
that you didn’t have before. Look at it as free money—like
finding loose change on the ground in a parking lot —regularly.
Another way to save is to start an IRA. Your financial institution
will explain the differences between a traditional or Roth
IRA, and it’s worth the time to invest in one of these
accounts. The early withdrawal penalties are also a good deterrent
to make you think twice about touching the money once it’s
in the account.
Other ways to save are naturally to cut down on excessive expenses
that you may not need. For example, if you have a coffee maker
at home, learn to live with instant coffee like Folgers or
Taster’s Choice instead of opting for Starbucks.
Fast food can get pricy too. So what if you bring a home lunch
to college? It doesn’t have to be in a brown paper bag.
Plastic is OK. You can even start a retro trend with the metal
Spiderman or Strawberry Shortcake lunchboxes.
The bottom line is: less is more. It may not seem that way
now, but later on, down the line, saving now may be one of
the smartest things you’ll ever do for yourself. This
may sound selfish, but investing in your financial future now
will allow you to experience so much more once you retire.
You can travel the world, become a member of an exclusive country
club, you can even volunteer at places because you have so
much free time on your hands. You will be able to accomplish
all of this because you took the time to plan ahead. Who else
will do it for you?