Anne is in the second year of her career. Matt just finished paying off his student loans. Next year, they're getting married and moving into a new home. They both come from big families and anticipate adding to their own in the next few years. With all these major life events and celebrations on the horizon, it can be difficult to consider something as far off as retirement – much less save for it.
In fact, only two-thirds of American workers are saving for retirement, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. And many of those who are, aren't putting enough away.
In the midst of living your life, here are four ways to ensure your retirement savings don't get away from you.
1. Student loans paid off? Funnel more toward your retirement
If you've been allotting several hundred dollars each month to student loans, now you could redirect that income toward your retirement. Even if you take just half of that "extra" money and invest it, you'll be in a much better position. Similarly, if you have children in daycare, the same idea could apply. Once you're finished with tuition payments, you could invest the "extra" money.
2. Make a "bonus" payment
If you or your spouse is awarded a bonus, you could consider putting that amount into your retirement savings. Since that money isn't promised or guaranteed and shouldn't be part of your budget, you won't miss it as much.
3. Determine what you want now versus what you want most
Maybe you prefer to drive a new car every four to five years. But is that as important to you as being able to retire at a certain age? Taking a look at your spending habits now and weighing them against your retirement dreams for the future help you establish your priorities and adjust your spending goals if needed. Our retirement calculator can help. Perhaps you might decide that it's more important for your family that you retire by a certain age, and you could drive one car for a longer time or cut back in other areas. That way, more money would be available to make your dream a reality.
4. You don't have to do it alone
Collaborating with a financial advisor who understands your needs and goals can help you reach them when you want to. The days are long but the years are short, as older generations will – and often do – remind the younger ones. By creating a specific plan, you will be ready to make your retirement goals a reality when that day comes.