Check these five simple ways to catch up on retirement savings
The best way to save for your retirement is to start investing early and let compound interest work for you. But what if you started late or had financial problems at middle age that ate into your nest egg?
If you have a nest egg at all, you’re better off than more than a third of Americans who haven’t saved a penny for retirement. That includes a quarter of those aged 50 to 64.
When you’re behind on your savings, these tips can help you catch up:
1. First, focus on debt. Having little or no long-term debt can help keep monthly expenses low. Pay off the house if you can and keep your cars longer.
2. Reduce advisory fees. Choose low-cost index funds over high-fee annuities or actively managed funds. A Morningstar study estimates that the expense ratio across all mutual funds was about $64 per year on every $10,000.
3. Max out tax-deferred accounts. Take full advantage of IRAs and 401(k) plans, says an advisor at Bankrcom. And pay yourself first by having money taken directly out of your paycheck, which ensures that the money is saved.
4. Work longer. Many people do. A survey from Merrill Lynch found that 80 percent of those employed in their golden years work because they want to, not because they have to.
5. Don’t fall for risky bets. Never bet on aggressive investments or put all your eggs in one basket because you think you’ve found a sure thing, says Jeff Reeves writing in USA Today.
Reeves is the author of The Frugal Investor’s Guide to Finding Great Stocks.