The Golden Years: Planning for Retirement at Any Age

What are you looking most forward to in life? Having a child? Getting married, perhaps? For many adults, it’s retirement. But in order to truly enjoy retirement, it’s important to start planning now. With that in mind, we’ve created a quick and easy guide for you to follow, regardless of your current age. 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s – we’ve got you covered!

20s

The best time of your life, right? Well, it’s also the best time to start saving for retirement. And while it’s equally important to enjoy your newly found freedom post college, don’t blow all of your “play money” on fancy cocktails and gear from the Apple store!

For many, this is the decade where they start to make their own money with no strings attached – that is, without hefty obligations like home ownership and mouths to feed. That said, it’s a great time to develop a savings habit. So put away whatever you’re comfortable with at first and then start to increase the amount from there. If you save a little, but do it often, you’ll get into a routine. Another key is setting a budget and sticking to it. This will help you realize exactly where your money is going and how you can optimize along the way.

30s

Okay, so you’re in your 30s now. This is a scary but exciting time, as marriage and children may be on the horizon. Just don’t forget your own retirement fund while you start to plan a family fund. This can be an expensive decade, but saving is just as important as buying a house.

Create a checklist and verify that you’re on track with your retirement goals. Eight out of 10 people in this age range wish they could invest more, but they don’t know exactly what goals they are trying to hit. If you realize early on what goals you want to achieve, you can take a proactive stance.

Another important step is to repay all non-mortgage debt, Kiplinger.com believes. If you have lingering credit card debt or student loans, pay this off first. This will help guide you into your 40s with only a mortgage payment to worry about while saving for retirement at a maximum level.

40s

Alright, you’ve made it to your 40s! But slow down, partner; it’s not time to celebrate just yet. A lot of work still needs to be done in this decade. Wells Fargo believes this is the ideal time to strengthen your emergency fund, and they recommend setting aside six months of living expenses.

If you have children, you can also start thinking about paying for their college. They may be a few years away from attending, but it’s good to always have that in the back of your head. If you had or have college debt, remember those struggles!

50s

You’re nearing the finish line! While you may be itching for that monthly social security payment, Interest.com says, “Don’t!”. Think about it, if you wait until the full social security age, you can double your benefit payment. This is awesome for people who have been following a monthly retirement plan.

Maybe you feel like you’re ready for retirement now? You might actually be! Sit down and assess whether you’re actually ready for the big day. This will also help you understand what extra steps you might need to take to hit the finish line.

So there you have it! A breakdown of some simple steps you can do to retire on time and be comfortable. Get to it, and update us on your progress by dropping a comment below!