Career Advice - A Community Blog

Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

7 Ways to Help You Boost Your Retirement Savings

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | Jan 24, 2018 5:22 PM

While some working adults have taken great strides to properly save for retirement and to select savvy investments to bolster retirement account balances, others feel woefully unprepared for their non-working years. If you are not currently in the financial position that you would like to be in, the weight on your shoulders can be tremendous. After all, you can not feasibly plan to live forever, but you will have expenses for the remainder of your life. These are some excellent ways to increase your retirement savings so that you can retire sooner and live more comfortably later in life.

Educate Yourself

Before you take any steps to alter saving and investing habits, spend time educating yourself about retirement, investment vehicles, budgeting and more. In the words of financial advisor Michael Dinich, "Develop a detailed roadmap for success that takes into account your timelines and retirement goals, not just a generic formula." You must know what your end goal is before you can create a strategic timeline. Therefore, create a thoughtful retirement budget as an initial step. Educate yourself about common expenses for retirees to ensure that your budget is realistic.

Reduce Your Cost of Living

Many people who take this initial step to determine their target retirement account balance based on an actual retirement budget may be floored by the amount of money that they need to accumulate. At first glance, it may even seem impossible to achieve a lofty goal. Take a deep breath, and focus attention on your current budget. By scaling back your lifestyle, you can save more money regularly. In addition, you can train yourself to live more frugally now, and this means that you may require less money to live in retirement. For example, move to a more affordable home, and avoid going out to eat so frequently.

Automate Savings

You may struggle to remember to transfer money to a retirement account as planned, and this could easily set you behind. Staying up-to-date with your regular saving and investing efforts is easier to do when you automate deposits and investment purchases. If your financial institution does not offer this type of automated funds transfer service, consider changing financial institutions.

Select Better Retirement Investments

Most types of investments inherently have some level of risk associated with them. You may be one of many working adults who have lost a considerable amount of money on investments over the years, and this could be a primary reason why you are not as far along with your retirement efforts as you would like to be. Spend time researching investments and investing strategies more effectively. If necessary, use the services of a financial advisor to select smart investments.

Properly Allocate Investments in Your Portfolio

Finding better investments is one way to potentially watch your portfolio balance grow over time, but you also should reallocate your portfolio periodically. Your allocation of funds plays a critical role in your exposure to risk. Choose an allocation that moderates risk to a tolerable level.

Get a Side Job

If these efforts have still not put you on track to retire by a specified date, consider getting a side job. Taking on a second job may not sound ideal, but the extra income that you earn can entirely be saved and invested. By taking this step, you could potentially save thousands of extra dollars per year.

Delay Your Retirement Date

Another idea is to push back your retirement date. This gives you several important benefits. For example, you have more time to earn money that can be saved and invested. You also have more time for your investments to increase in value. When you retire later, you may qualify for larger Social Security payments. Another benefit is that you will not need to stretch your nest egg as far as you otherwise would have to if you retire early. Semi-retirement may give you at least some of these benefits and can be considered as an alternative.

Financial stress associated with retirement plans can be considerable, but your situation is not hopeless. You may implement multiple tips listed here to get yourself back on track and even to enjoy a potentially more comfortable retirement in your later years.

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