Retirement looks different for everyone. Whether you want to travel the world or spend your golden years on the golf course, you need a financial plan to keep you afloat when you stop working.
Check out these four strategies that can help everyone retire well, no matter your age:
1. Start today
When it comes to investing your money for retirement, it pays to start early. The longer your investments can generate earnings, the more money you’ll have at retirement. Bottom line? If you haven’t started putting money away yet, don’t wait any longer!
2. Contribute to your 401(k)/open an IRA
Traditional employer-based 401(k) plans let employees contribute pre-tax dollars to their retirement accounts. Those accounts include a mix of investments such as money market funds, stocks and bonds. When the value of your investments goes up, you earn more money for retirement.
If a 401(k) isn’t an option, open an IRA account. With an IRA, you can likely access your investment money after age 59½ without incurring a tax penalty (as long as you’ve held the account for at least five years).
3. Match your employer
If your employer offers to match your 401(k) contribution (up to a point) and you decline, you’re walking away from free money. Take advantage of the match perk. It’s one of the easiest ways to earn more for retirement.
4. Catch up if you’re 50 or older
If you started putting money away for retirement late, or just haven’t been able to contribute as much as you would’ve liked over the years, you can play catch up once you get older. Starting at 50, you’re able to invest more money in your 401(k) or IRA. If possible, invest up to the maximum allowed to make up for lost time.