Are you worried about not having enough saved up for a comfy retirement? You’re not alone. About 22% of Americans have less than $5,000 put away, 15% have nothing saved, and an eye-popping 56% don’t even know how much they’ll need to retire comfortably.
But don’t let this get you down. Even if you’re a bit behind on retirement savings, there’s still hope. You can do some last-minute moves to boost what you’ve got and make the most of what’s already there.
Read on for six simple strategies that can help, no matter how close retirement is.
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1. Boost employer match contributions
If you’re not making use of your employer’s 401(k) match, you’re basically missing out on free money. Even if you’re already enrolled in your company’s 401(k) plan, it’s worth thinking about raising your contribution to reach your employer’s match contribution limit each year.
This approach allows you to accelerate the growth of your retirement savings with the added help of your employer’s contribution.
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2. Don’t forget about catch-up contributions
Once you reach the age of 50-plus, a valuable opportunity arises: The option to make “catch-up contributions” to specific retirement accounts, allowing you to enhance your retirement savings. For the year 2023, you can make catch-up contributions of up to $6,500 annually to your 401(k) plan (except for SIMPLE 401(k)s, 403(b) plans, or SARSEPs).
It’s important to note that there are additional catch-up contribution limits established by the IRS. Regarding IRAs, you’re allowed to contribute an extra $1,000 annually in 2023. If you have a SIMPLE IRA or a SIMPLE 401(k) plan, you have the potential to make catch-up contributions of up to $3,000 in 2023.
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3. Work past retirement
Most people don’t want to work forever, but not everyone can afford to retire at the usual age of 65. For Baby Boomers, the current retirement age is generally between 66 and 67, while for Generation X, it’s around 67.
Maybe you used to think about retiring even earlier, but now you’re having second thoughts because of the rising cost of healthcare before Medicare covers you at 65. Working a bit longer might be a way to handle your retirement money worries.
Waiting to retire has its advantages. For one, if you put off getting your Social Security benefits, you’ll get more money each month when you finally start. Also, if your job offers health insurance, it could be a good reason to delay retiring since healthcare costs can add up. Plus, working a little longer gives you extra time to save up more money for your retirement.
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4. Take on more investment risk
Not everyone is okay with taking more chances when it comes to their retirement savings mix. But if your retirement savings isn’t growing enough to meet your goals, it could be a good idea to think about taking a bit more risk to possibly get more money from your investments.
To figure out if changing how your retirement savings is invested could help you save more, talk to your financial advisor or retirement planner. They can give you advice on whether it’s a smart move for you.
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5. Retire to a less expensive place
Your retirement income needs can be drastically different from one area to another. What might barely cover your costs in one place could give you a much better lifestyle in another with lower living expenses. So, if you’re looking to stretch your retirement savings further, think about making a move to a more affordable area.
Take a glance at the pricier spots in the U.S. to live in 2023: Hawaii, Alaska, the Northeast, and the West Coast. These places are known for being pretty spendy, according to the third-quarter composite cost-of-living index from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. On the flip side, you’ve got the Midwest and Southern states. They’re the more wallet-friendly choices, giving you more bang for your buck when it comes to retirement living.
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6. Cut daily living costs
Trimming costs isn’t exactly thrilling, but neither is struggling during retirement. What if you make a few savvy moves now, like cutting down on certain indulgences and other expenses your current income allows? That way, you could funnel more money each month into your retirement savings.
For example, have you ever thought of the cost contrast between sticking with cable and switching to streaming services? Take Comcast Xfinity’s basic cable package, which can set you back around $50 to $90 per month. Now, consider streaming services that come at a more wallet-friendly $30 a month. Imagine this: If cable eats up $70 a month and streaming services cost $30 in total, you could pocket an extra $40 each month by switching. This newfound cash can then be safely stored away for your retirement fund, giving it a boost that packs a punch.
This article was written and syndicated by MediaFeed.org.
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