While practically everyone knows that they need to save for retirement, actually reaching the goal of having enough money to last your through your golden years can be difficult to achieve. Each generation faces a unique set of challenges and advantages when it comes to saving for this important life event, but there is some advice from Credit Logon that can apply to just about anyone.
Start small and your savings will grow
If you’re a Millennial, then you have the advantage of a long retirement window. Over the next several decades, compounding interest will make it possible to see even the small amounts of money that you can put aside now quadruple by the time you’re ready to retire. While older generations don’t have as much of an advantage, it is important to remember that your savings will continue to accumulate interest while you’re retired. With careful investing, it’s possible to make a retirement nest egg that seems too small into enough money to live comfortably.
Know your financial needs
Forty percent of Americans estimate that they will need $500k to retire, while the average retirement cost is nearly $750,000. While it is easy to assume that most people are underestimating how much they need, it’s also important to realize that many retirees are probably taking into account the possibility of downsizing a home or cutting back on their lifestyle. Baby Boomers are certainly better able to predict how much money they will need for upcoming life events than Gen Xers or Millennials, giving them a distinct advantage here.
Despite what plenty of experts may tell you, there is no “right” amount of money that everyone needs to retire. How much you need to save will depend on a range of factors including the way you invest, where you live, your lifestyle, and the age at which you retire. When these factors are combined with factors you can’t control, such as your health and inflation, it isn’t surprising that CNBC reports that 81 percent of Americans don’t know how much they need to retire.
Enroll in Employer-Based Plans
One of the easiest and most effective ways for anyone to save for retirement is to take advantage of their company-sponsored retirement plan. These plans offer distinct tax advantages and make saving for retirement relatively simple. Unfortunately, it’s all too common for Millennials to not see the advantages to saving in one of these plans early on.
Look for help
Nearly 72% of Millennials admit they do not know as much as they should about retirement savings. While fewer members of older generations will say that they don’t know enough about investing, there’s still a big gap between what the average person should know and how much they really know. Unfortunately, only 36% of Millennials actually get help from a professional financial advisor. No matter what your age is, don’t be afraid to ask a professional to review your financial plan.
Plan, prioritize, and protect
No matter how old you are, having a retirement plan is crucial to reach your savings goals. Developing that plan, though, can be a real challenge. While older generations may have a clearer picture of what they want their retirement to look like, there is a shorter window to meet their goals. Younger generations have plenty of time to save, but must contend with an unknown future.
Fortunately, a skilled financial advisor has experience in dealing with all of these situations. Whether you just need someone to review the plan you already have, or if you need help getting started, look to a professional for guidance.
Holidays can be an expensive and budgeting difficult, but you don’t need to splurge excessively for a decent holiday experience. Aside from the golden rule of preparation, the following tips will help you make the least dent in your wallet, allowing you to grab a holiday bargain.
Be Internet Savvy
Before setting out, both internet and insider knowledge will help you save money along the way. Everything from shopping around, price comparison sites and a simple understanding of parking (or transportation) fees will help you keep control of your holiday budget. Once you know how to navigate the world of holiday comparison sites, you are off to a grand start in beating the excess blues. Booking in advance goes without question; hotels, apartments, trains, planes and parking tickets are all best prepared in advance, but there are still many options available for late bookers. In fact, last minute deals may turn out better, but you have to be flexible with your dates. Flying on an evening and travelling off-peak can really bring costs down. Further yet, if you have air miles, use them; if you don’t, consider signing-up.
If you are heading away by flight, always check several flight comparison websites like Kayak or Skyscannertogether. Most websites offer e-mail notifications for price changes and peak times. Remember to check the airline carriers directly as well; promotional codes particular to airline companies may apply when booking directly, saving you a hefty fee. A simply google search of your chosen airline plus “discount codes” may return some luck. When searching the web, turn to private mode to avoid the cookies that may be used to influence and increase your deal price.
Compare Your Car Rental
As with flights and hotels, your transportation costs can add up. Making the most of cost comparison sites—and being attentive to designated mileage—will allow you to save those extra pounds. Getting into the habit of comparison will get you the best rates on car hire, travel insurance and package holidays.
Car Excess Insurance
If you are driving a hired vehicle, car excess insurance can be much cheaper when bought from a third-party company rather than over the counter at the car desk. Driving of course alleviates some of the anxieties of transport knowledge and allows you to holiday at your own pace.
Try Airbnb Over a Conventional Hotel
Airbnb are all the rage right now, offering a more personal, interactive and price saving alternative to a traditional hotel experience. There are of course alternatives like Tripping and HomeAway, running the gamut from weekend city breaks to full country cottage rental. The perks of this kind of stay include an obvious reduction in stay price, but also often a working kitchen, free internet and insider knowledge. Stick with the well rated lodgings and remain rigorous in your research at all times for the best deals.
Package or à la carte
Package holidays may offer you significant savings if you are taking your entire family out. All-inclusive deals can cover everything from transport, food and lodgings, to further excursions and festivities. Make the most by heading to a site like We Holiday. “All inclusive” deals can be cheaper to book as a whole package—including your hotel—than the flight alone.
Avoid Excess Fees
Research bank charges abroad, as snags and bad currency rates effect your holiday spending. Consider paying by cash and thus keeping your costs under wraps, or try Revolut for spending abroad.
We’ve all been there; we look at our statement around payday and there just isn’t enough cash present. We haven’t been spending on luxuries such as holidays and cars but, for some reason, the figures just don’t seem to add up, even though we’ve been keeping an eye on them throughout the month. Of course, it only ever goes in one direction –we’re never pleasantly surprised by the amount of cash in our account, are we? Similarly, if we’re looking to move away from our parents and spread our wings by renting for the first time, we should make time to know that we’re going to be able to afford it.
So we need to budget, to make sure that our home and our children are fed and warm, with a roof over their head. Here’s how to start:
You might be surprised by the rate at which some expenses build up. For example, this writer’s household was paying more than £100 in satellite subscription fees alone until recently. It required a brutal analysis and breakdown of what was going on: multi-room usage, broadband, UHD coverage and the odd boxing PPV were all adding up, plus packages for documentary channels that no-one was really watching.
There are several essentials that must be considered. We have to have a roof over our head, and we have to eat and sleep. We have to drive/travel, and we have to have at least some form of entertainment in our lives, otherwise we’re not really living. If we can delineate what we want, and what we need, we can start to crack down on what we can save.
What would you like to have at the end of the month? What is the minimum, and what would make you comfortable or happy? Take this figure and see if there are any avenues for saving money in your current outgoings. For example, when was the last time you changed (or at least researched) your utility providers? Or planned a shopping budget at the start of the week, cutting down on expensive ready meals/ingredients that are not used? Marrying this with any vouchers/coupons of note might save several pounds a week, and restrict the risk of ‘BOGOFs’ that don’t actually get you anywhere because you never use the free food.
Running a household should not just be your job when other people in the home can help. Explaining that savings have to be made, and that some of the changes are small enough to be barely noticeable, will save on arguments. Turning off lights when not in the room, and maybe cutting out one takeaway/cinema trip/luxury a week or month, should be acceptable by everyone in the home.
Plan ahead to budget for the times of the year when life becomes more expensive; this includes Christmas, Halloween, birthdays, family events such as weddings/christenings, and other events. Knowing these occasions are coming means that you can keep some money in place so that you do not necessarily have to go into further debt. Also, don’t be afraid to say ‘No’ sometimes if you cannot afford something!