No time like the present to start saving for retirement

November 16, 2016, 8:21 am

Last month we celebrated National Save for Retirement Week, a national effort to bring awareness to saving for retirement. As the population ages, there are many realities to be aware of such as the rising cost of health care, the uncertainty of Social Security and longer life expectancies.

Anthony Paul

Anthony Paul

Planning for your future is more important than ever, here are a few simple tips to help you get started:

  • Save more now – Rewarding ourselves every now and then is understandable. However, forgoing unnecessary expenses like a daily latte can really add up in savings. Consider setting up automatic payments to your savings account to ensure you are actively saving no matter the amount. Even if all you have is a little money to put away each month, that money can add up to a significant amount in the future. It’s also important to not spend more than you make.
  • Maximize retirement savings – If you have a retirement plan at work, always sign up for your employer contribution to save as much as possible for retirement. Some employers match at least a part, if not all, of their employees’ retirement account contributions.
  • Consolidate your accounts – If you change jobs throughout your career, your retirement accounts may multiply. Unless there is a benefit to keeping money in a previous employer’s account, consider consolidating your accounts to make it easier to see what you have to work with as retirement approaches.
  • If possible, pay off debt early – Based on your budget and financial goals, determine how much additional money you can realistically put toward your debt each month. Don’t have extra income? Look for ways to cut back on monthly spending. However, don’t sacrifice other financial goals like a saving for your child’s college education or purchasing a home just to be debt free early. Assess thoroughly before making a decision.
  • Don’t withdraw early – There are penalties on funds that are withdrawn early. Avoid paying these fees by refraining from accessing your retirement account until you are at least 59 1/2 years old.

Being smart about your savings can make a positive difference and will allow you to can spend your retirement years closer to how you imagine them.

 Anthony Paul is a Financial Advisor with the Global Wealth Management Division of Morgan Stanley in Denver. The information contained in this interview is not a solicitation to purchase or sell investments. Any information presented is general in nature and not intended to provide individually tailored investment advice. The strategies and/or investments referenced may not be suitable for all investors as the appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives.  Investing involves risks and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest. Morgan Stanley and its Financial Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. Individuals should seek advice based on their particular circumstances from an independent tax or legal advisor. The views expressed herein are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, or its affiliates. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, LLC, member SIPC.

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Anthony Paul

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