Monthly contributions to an investment account spread out over many years can result in a big portfolio! Look at what you would need to save each month to retire at 65.
Building a budget and having a good handle on your expenses is the first step to preparing for retirement. When meeting a prospective client, it is one of the first questions we ask but very rarely does anyone have a good sense of where their income goes each month.
If you’ve been meaning to get started with a budget, read this article: These seven steps will set you on the right course.
Recent reports show that the average baby boomer spends less eating out than millennials. On average baby boomers spend $2,386 per year eating out, while the average millennial spends $2,639. For baby boomers, 37% of every dollar spent on food is spent outside their home, while the figure for millennials is closer to 43%.
This got me thinking…
If millennials, reduced their out-of-home food expenditure to what baby boomers spent eating out ($253) and instead invested that money in the market at 9% per year, they would have close to $35,000 when they retired.
This simple step of saving less than $5 a week can really add up over time.
Recently we worked with a client who needed about $50,000 for an emergency expense. He was in a bind and didn’t have much in his checking or savings accounts. His only option, he thought, was to tap his IRA.
As we explained to the client, there are a lot of drawbacks to using IRA funds before retirement:
As a solution, we advised the client to look to their 401(k) with their employer. Specifically we advised the client to borrow money from their 401(k). With this arrangement it does not trigger income taxes and there’s no penalty, but it has to be repaid in 5 years and the client has to pay interest, in addition to many other restrictions.
We almost always advise against taking retirement money in any way (including borrowing from a 401(k)). But in this case, the client was in a real tough bind and this became the only sensible option.
Taking full advantage of your employer’s 401(k) match can be one of the best strategies to save for retirement. In a study of 401(k) millionaires in Fidelity Administered plans, most took advantage of the employer match. In fact, 28% of the balances came from their employer. That includes the employees contributions and the growth of those contributions.
Check with your HR department to make sure you are getting that match – it’s free money! And then continue to check every year to make sure your are still maximizing the match offered by your employer.