5 Ways to Become an Olympic Retirement Saver
This month, the attention of the world is focused on the athletes who are competing at the XXII Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. Many people marvel at the extraordinary skill, talent and abilities these athletes display.
It’s important to remember that while most of them were born with some degree of natural athletic ability, it took many years of hard work, dedication and training for them to reach the pinnacle of athletic achievement: the privilege of competing in the Olympic Games.
In some ways, saving for retirement is similar to training to compete in the Olympics, says Martin Walcoe, Executive Vice President for David Lerner and Associates. “Ensuring a financially secure retirement isn’t something that just happens automatically for most Americans. It takes many years of planning, dedication and discipline.”
Here are his top 5 tips for becoming an Olympic retirement saver:
1. Make retirement saving a priority. Most people face numerous financial priorities in their lives: a mortgage or rent, car payments, health care, raising children, and perhaps caring for aging parents, just to name a few. “This can make it hard to prioritize retirement savings,” says Lerner, “especially for younger people who might be 40 or more years away from retirement.”
If prioritizing retirement savings is difficult for you, Walcoe suggests that you start out slowly by contributing even a small amount of money from each paycheck to a retirement account, such as an IRA or 401(k) plan. “Then you can increase your contributions over time as your income hopefully increases.”
2. Start saving for retirement early. There’s simply no substitute for getting an early start to saving for retirement. The Rule of 72 is a mathematical formula that illustrates the power of compounding and how time can work in your favor when it comes to long-term saving for retirement.
The rule states that money approximately doubles in the number of years equal to 72 divided by the return generated. So if you earn 6 percent a year on your savings, your money would double in about 12 years (72/6 = 12). Therefore, approximately each decade that is delayed in saving for retirement could cost you the opportunity to double your money.
3. Save a percentage of your income, not a specific amount of money. There are two key benefits to this approach to retirement saving. The first is that it builds discipline. When you commit to putting a certain percentage of your income away for a long-term goal like retirement, you are saying ‘no’ to immediate gratification in order to help ensure your financial security later in life.
And the second benefit is that as your income hopefully rises over your life, the amount of money you save for retirement will automatically rise along with it.
4. Make your retirement savings automatic. By automating your retirement savings, you are “paying yourself first. Simply talk to your employer about having your retirement plan contribution automatically deducted from your paycheck each pay period and placed in your retirement account. Or if you contribute to a non-employer plan like an IRA, arrange to have your contribution automatically transferred from your bank account to your retirement account each month.
5. Periodically rebalance your retirement plan assets. Your retirement account isn’t something you can just put on cruise control and forget about. Over time the mix of stock, bond and cash assets in your account will likely shift away from the target asset allocation you originally started with.
“Therefore, it’s often wise to periodically rebalance your account in order to get your asset allocation back to its target range,” says Walcoe. “This may involve selling securities in assets that have become over-weighted and using the money to buy securities in assets that have become under-weighted.”
Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. This material does not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered in connection with the purchase or sale of securities. Member FINRA & SIPC
Founded in 1976, David Lerner Associates is a privately-held broker/dealer with headquarters in Syosset, New York and branch offices in Westport, CT; Boca Raton, FL; Teaneck and Princeton, NJ; and White Plains, NY. For more information contact David Lerner Associates. 1-800-367-3000 http://www.davidlerner.com
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