You’ve seen the articles warning us that a shockingly low percentage of Americans have enough money to cover a $400 emergency, or the reports telling us that most millennial-aged Americans are drowning in student loan debt. One look at the news, and you’ll come away feeling like the financial situation of most Americans is extremely bleak. The confidence older American workers have in their finances isn’t very high, either, with reports indicating that just 18% of workers in the United States feel like they’ve got enough cash set aside for retirement.
Similarly, other articles also suggest that 30% of middle-aged United States-based workers suffer from emotional or physical health problems related to feeling like they’ve got insufficient retirement savings.
Although saving for retirement seems complicated, learning how to build a rock-solid financial foundation for your post-work years isn’t actually that difficult. Asking yourself the following questions is a great way to ensure that you’ll have enough money when you retire.
How Much Money Are You Investing?
Most financial experts tell us that you should aim for saving 10% of your post-tax income. Unfortunately, due to inflation and a rising cost of living, saving and investing 5% to 10% of your post income likely won’t be enough to give you a comfortable life in retirement.
We recommend saving and investing between 15% and 20% of your income. This higher rate of saving and investing will help those who did not begin saving and investing until later in life.
What Are You Investing In?
Financial experts argue that what you’re investing in is just as important as the amount of money you’re investing. If, for example, you invest most of your money in penny stocks or risky start-ups, there’s a chance you could be dead broke by the time you reach retirement. On the other hand, it’s important that your investments aren’t so conservative that the dividends are not keeping up with inflation.
Instead, find investment opportunities that offer a good middle-ground. Look for stocks, index funds, and real estate opportunities that offer a nice return without too much risk.
What Are Your Investment Costs?
Although some investors don’t think about it, the fees you pay when you are investing can have a significant effect on your net worth when you reach retirement age. This is especially true if you’re being hit with exorbitant fees over a 30 or 40 year period.
Asking yourself these three questions is a great way to start planning for a better financial future immediately.