Four dumb excuses that could keep you from saving for retirement.
When it comes to saving for retirement, kick the “buts” out of your thinking.
As in “But I have no extra money for savings’’ or “But it’s too late to begin saving.’’
If you're using any of these excuses for not saving more for retirement, it’s time to change your thinking.
1. “But I have no extra money for saving."
Is your paycheck really stretched to the max? Try making a list of everything you buy each month – everything – and look for places to save. Switch from your gourmet roast to homebrew Joe, perhaps? Eat out one less time each month? Rent a DVD instead of going to a movie?
Changing your spending habits can mean more change in your pocket with little sacrifice. Cutting back on even small, everyday purchases is one of the easiest ways to find extra cash to funnel into an investment account.
2. “But I know nothing about investing."
Investing can be complicated, but you don't have to go it alone. An investment professional can help you design an investment plan to fit your goals and risk tolerance. Or if you contribute to a 401k or other retirement plan at work, your employer may offer educational programs that could help.
Plenty of outlets can help you understand financial principles and investment basics.
Pay attention to newspapers, books, magazines, websites and TV shows that deal with financial matters. Just make sure the sources are reputable. And consider discussing their ideas with an investment professional before you act.
Keep in mind that investing involves risk, so there’s no guarantee you’ll reach your investment goals.
3. “But I want to keep access to my money.’’
If you’re not saving because you’re worried your money won’t be accessible when you need it, know that many investments are liquid. That means they can be turned into cash quickly. Treasury bills, money market funds1, and other short-term vehicles can give you fast access to your funds, although their earnings may not always keep pace with inflation.
Investing in stocks or stock mutual funds, however, allows you to take advantage of the potential for earning higher returns. If you need the money, you can always sell your shares. And accounts held with brokerage firms often let you to borrow against the assets.
4. “But it’s too late to begin saving.”
Wrong! It's never too late to begin investing for your future financial security. Whether you’re five years or 35 from retirement, boosting the amount you're saving may help you reach your goals and stay on track for retirement. Use the On Your Side® Interactive Retirement PlannerSM to help set retirement goals, track progress and find ways to improve your retirement outlook − all in about 10 minutes.
Of course, the sooner you start the more money you'll be able to potentially accumulate. And the more you accumulate, the more it can earn through compounding over time.
Investing for even a brief period is typically better than not investing at all.
Remember, it's your future. So, get started now – before you come up with another “but” for not investing.
1 An investment in a money market fund is not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC or any other government agency. Although the fund seeks to preserve the value of your investment at $1 per share, it is possible to lose money by investing in the fund.