Money Mindset: Retirement!
When you are young, its common to dream of being retired and spending your days surfing it up on the beach, but let’s be realistic – how many 65 year olds do you actually see doing that? The answer is not many. By the time you are 65+ and retired, surfing the beach might not be a skill you are capable of learning. Retirement looks different to everyone, but one common denominator remains. How can I make sure that I retire when I want to, and how I want to?
How much longer do you need to work until your retirement? Well, that depends on a couple things. Age, income, and current investments all play a deciding factor on when and how you live your life in the golden years.
There is never a “bad” time to start working towards your retirement, but there are definitely better times than others. Any other financial professional will tell you this. The best time to start working on your retirement is when you are young, and the younger the better. If not when you are young, then now.
Let’s pause for a second to think about why you haven’t done anything for retirement.
Have you ever told yourself the following?
- I am years away from retirement. I’ll start saving when I get closer to my retirement day.
- I love my work and I don’t plan on retiring. I’m not concerned about it.
- I don’t know anyone else saving for retirement, why should I?
Think about the relationship you have with your money. What is your money mindset? Do you control your money, or does your money control you? If you’ve ever told yourself any of the statements above, your money controls you. This is the difference between the poor and the rich. The rich control their money and let their money go to work for them. Alternatively, the poor go to work for their money and let their money control them.
Why start saving for retirement now versus later?
Excellent question. The sooner you start saving for retirement, the longer time horizon you have to save. Depending on your job, you may not be able to control your income, especially if you are paid hourly or on salary. However, if you can’t control your income, at least take control of your time. There is only a limited amount of time you have on this Earth, but there is no limit to the amount of money you can save for retirement. The sooner you start, the better!
I don’t make enough money to save for retirement!
This is a poor excuse. Don’t get caught up blaming your income for your lack of retirement savings. For that matter, don’t blame your income for the lack of achieving any of your financial goals. For most people, income is the only resource available to save for retirement and reach financial goals. If you blame the only thing you’ve got to work with, you will never be in control of your finances. The only thing you truly have to blame for lack of achieving your financial goals is your money mindset. It’s a hard truth to hear, but if it isn’t discussed now, the relationship you have with your money will never develop and mature towards the path of financial freedom.
Any amount you can put towards retirement will always be better than nothing at all. Living paycheck to paycheck? $5 dollars saved a week will always be better than nothing at all. It’s that simple. Stop blaming your income, and start developing your money mindset instead.
How do I start saving for retirement?
There are a number of useful ways to save for your retirement. The best way to save is through certain retirement investment vehicles including IRA’s (Individual Retirement Accounts) and 401(k)’s. These types of accounts are specifically tailored to help you invest in the market.
Investing in the market allows you to let your money work for you, not the other way around. It gives your money the chance to grow. The longer time horizon you have to let it grow, the more potential growth you can achieve. This is why it is important to start investing in your retirement earlier rather than later. However, there is never a bad time to start saving. The biggest rude awakening you may face is when the “retirement age” years are upon you, yet you are unprepared and under-financed to support a retirement, or at least the retirement lifestyle you want.
The best way to save for retirement is a little bit at a time. Retirement funds will not appear overnight. They take time and nourishment to grow, blossom, and mature. Contribute as much as you possibly can, as soon as you possibly can. Even if those contributions are very little, aim to make them consistent. These small disciplines will make the biggest difference in your accounts come retirement.