When you’re in your 20s or 30s, retirement might be the last thing on your mind, but it’s never too early to save money, invest cleverly, budget your lifestyle, avoid debt and get a foot on the property ladder. In fact, your future self will thank you for it. In this article, Copper Quail Consulting explores a couple of the key steps for retirement and estate planning success.
Budgeting and Saving
When there are so many exciting opportunities around you, it can be difficult to keep money from escaping your wallet. Thankfully, technology has developed to help us track our spending and limit this autonomously; SmartAsset recommends looking into mobile apps such as Mint, Pocketguard, or EveryDollar, these can be synced with your financial accounts to notify you of opportunities to save money, prevent recurring costs and help shop for cheaper alternatives. Better still, you’ll have a clearer overview of your incomings and outgoings from a visual dashboard that combines all of your accounts.
Similarly to budgeting, technology has evolved to facilitate daily savings. Money Under 30 notes that this includes financial education apps, money management apps, and apps that help you to shop for better prices on planned purchases. Ideally, you want to ensure that, for every purchase, you’re putting an added percentage of the purchase away into savings. If you’re not a fan of apps, look at your monthly incomings/outgoings and set up a standing order on payday to contribute money to your retirement account. However you do it, the important thing here is consistency – if you can squirrel away a few dollars every week, you’ll be surprised by how much wealth can accumulate over time.
Technology can be an invaluable asset when it comes to saving, but there is no compensating for lifestyle. If you’re serious about saving for the future, you may want to re-evaluate the way you’re currently using money (and time) and form healthier, cheaper habits. This could mean switching diets, cutting out vices, canceling subscriptions, and thinking of new, wholesome ways to find enjoyment – as they say, the best things in life are often free.
In addition, It’s important to remember that, in your senior years, there is a good chance you’ll eventually turn to supportive care or may need to help a parent or other loved one with arranging for care. It’s a costly proposition. To understand and prepare financially, learn more about how expensive it is now by first researching the senior care facilities in your area (you’ll find more than 20 nursing homes in Phoenix alone). Then you can work on a long-range plan for such a contingency.
As important as the amount of money you’re saving is where you’re investing it. With the rise of retail investment platforms, it can be tempting to place funds in high-risk stocks or cryptocurrencies, but this is generally advised against when it comes to saving for retirement. Arguably, the best way to invest your money is in bricks and mortar with a mortgage – this will give you a physical asset safe from market shifts (although prone to changing valuations). Or, if you can’t yet afford to get your foot on the property ladder, you could instead open up an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or look into High-Yield Savings Accounts.
Often, employers will provide benefit/retirement plans to help with estate planning, such as 401(k) retirement/pension accounts, life insurance, and/or stock options. It’s worth speaking with your boss or the HR department to see what benefits you would be eligible for and learn about the additional perks offered by the company, whether these be 401(k) matching, discounted stock purchase programs, or life insurance for dependents.
It’s difficult to overstate the value of having your important documents (insurance, will, property deeds, etc.) organized. If you can keep everything on file, you’ll be able to check back later and protect your claims. To help, it’s worth digitizing paper records and collating these into PDFs. Online tools can help with this by allowing you to combine, reorder, delete and rotate pages.
Retirement may be in the distance, but failure to prepare early can often lead to later hardships. Make sure you’re putting in the time and effort now to help your older self. Your current self may feel some peace of mind in doing so.
Copper Quail Consulting blends approaches from human resources, organization development, strategic planning, and whole person wellness. Connect with us today for more info! 602-512-5849