5 Simple Steps To Jumpstart Your Savings

Don't Be A Scary Statistic. 5 Easy Steps To Start Saving Today.

If you are worried about being financially secure heading in retirement, you are not alone. There are some alarming statistics that are not meant to scare you, but instead to motivate you to start saving at the very best time possible: TODAY.

Take for example the following:

75% of retirement aged Americans have less than $30,000 in savings.

1 in 6 older Americans live on less than 22,500.These are people you know.

Today there are five people working per one retiree. But by 2050, there will be less than three people working per retiree.This means less and less people supporting our social security system.

American 55 and older account for 20% of all bankruptcies, typically because of medical and funeral expenses.

One third of all Americans have absolutely zero confidence that they will be comfortable in retirement.

Many people ask themselves how they got into this predicament. They wonder what they could have done different. What could they have done to position them better financially in order to truly enjoy their retirement years after all their years of hard work?   

There is really only one sound answer to this question: start saving early. You can take action right away by putting a plan in action to start saving now.  Believe it or not, even starting a savings plan in your 20’s is worth a start. Yes, you are probably making your very own money for the very first time and want to enjoy spending it on the luxuries that this new found financial independence can buy you.

But you will be a lot happier down the road if you put some actionable steps into place starting as soon as possible so you don’t have to worry later. 

You may be thinking that it is a lot easier said than done to begin a savings plan. It can be a bit intimidating at first. For this reason, I like to break it down in steps.

If you can follow these five steps and complete them to the best of your ability, then when your retirement years come, you will be able to enjoy hobbies, friends, vacations, and all of the things that you should enjoy once those years are here.

Jumpstart Your Savings Today With These Steps

1. Create your emergency cash savings.

Your emergency cash should be used for one thing and one thing only- emergencies.  This is the money that you will need immediately in the event something financially life changing such as a job loss or catastrophic medical bill. I recommend that people have enough money in their emergency cash savings to pay for six months of your fixed investments.  The money in your emergency cash savings should be kept in a place where you can get it out immediately, such as a money market account.

2. Set aside cash for large expenses within 12 to 18 months.

Don’t wipe out your emergency fund for a planned financial event.  If you know that you have a large expense coming up, this cash should be set aside in addition to the emergency cash fund.  

3. Make the maximum contribution to your employer’s matching 401(k) program.

While not all companies offer a matching 401(k) program, those that do will usually match 50 percent of the first 6 percent of your income saved.

  This is essentially free money to you.  Be sure to check with your employer to see if they offer this great benefit and take advantage of it if they do. 

4. Start funding a Roth IRA. 

Contributions to a Roth IRA are made with after-tax dollars and can be withdrawn anytime without penalty.  Once you reach 59 and a half, all withdrawals are tax-free, and there is no mandatory distribution age.

5. Mad out your 401(k). After you have funded your Roth IRA, try to max out your 401(k).

In 2016, the maximum contribution is $18,000 (plus an additional catch up amount of $6,000 if you are age 50 or above). 

Avoid being one of the alarming statistics and start saving today. You will be much happier tomorrow if you do.

Follow Wes on TwitterFacebook and at Wesmoss.com 

For valuable financial tools and information on how to set yourself up for a happy retirement, check these out:

Social Security OptimizerRetirement Calculator401k AllocatorHow Do I Stack Up QuizMoney & Happiness Quiz, and the book You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think

Disclosure:  This information is provided to you as a resource for informational purposes only.  It is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors.  Past performance is not indicative of future results.  Investing involves risk including the possible loss of principal.  This information is not intended to, and should not, form a primary basis for any investment decision that you may make. Always consult your own legal, tax or investment advisor before making any investment/tax/estate/financial planning considerations or decisions.