Work on Retirement Even If You're Behind


Content provided courtesy of USAA.

It's best to begin saving for retirement when you're years away from it — at the start of your working years or even sooner.

But, let's face it, not everyone does.

Indeed, the Employee Benefit Research Institute's 2015 Retirement Confidence Survey showed more than half of U.S. workers' household savings and investments have less than $25,000 saved or invested, excluding primary home value and defined benefit plans.

If you're down the road in your career but have been lax in saving for retirement, you're clearly not alone. But don't let that lull you into inactivity.

Now is the time to get serious about your retirement. Consider these three tips from USAA financial planning professionals, then come up with a plan for the future and act on it.

  • Face the facts. While it may be tempting to bury your head in the sand, don't waste any more time. You've come to the realization that your retirement needs attention, so make the effort to understand your financial situation. Use retirement calculators or talk to a financial planner to determine just how far behind you are and how you can catch up.
  • Don't despair. You may have missed opportunities to fund your retirement, but you can still make a big difference. Get in the mindset of action, rather than regret or shame. Many assume they missed the retirement boat and plan to work until they drop. But changes in health, family, employment and other life situations could limit your ability to work in your golden years, so don't count on it.
  • Act now. If you haven't been saving throughout your career, the need to put down money for retirement is even greater now. You may need to make lifestyle changes, such as downsizing or doing without luxuries, to step up your contributions to your 401(k) or other retirement funds such as individual retirement accounts. Decide how you're going to fund your retirement and begin immediately with your catch-up plan.
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Personal Finance