Planning for retirement is something that not nearly enough 20-somethings do. But it is never too early to start saving and investing for your golden years. According to retirement planning experts like Robert Nico Martinelli, there are some key tips young people should consider when saving for retirement.
1. Maximize Your Contributions
Once you turn 18, the government will let you open and contribute to an IRA (Individual Retirement Arrangement) and a 401K at your place of employment. These tax-advantaged investment accounts allow you to save money without paying taxes while growing over time. This is why they are some of the best ways to plan for retirement while you are still young.
2. Contribute to a Roth IRA
Many young financial planners suggest making contributions to a Roth IRA because it allows you to make investments with after-tax dollars, but it does not require you to pay taxes on the withdrawals when you retire. This is why experts believe that this investment vehicle is the best retirement savings account out there.
3. Save for Retirement First
When saving for retirement during your 20s, many people are tempted to buy an expensive new house or take an expensive vacation with their extra money. But expert financial planners recommend that you put off these purchases and save as much as possible for your later years first. Once you have enough saved up in your retirement accounts, then you can put additional money towards a house or vacation.
4. Pay Down Your Debt
Just like saving for retirement should come before buying a house or taking a vacation, paying off your existing debts should be your priority in your 20s. Paying off your student loans and credit card debts will free up extra money for saving and investing. It will also save you money on interest charges which would otherwise be wasted if you leave your debts to grow.
5. Consider a Brokerage Account
Whether you set up an IRA, Roth IRA, or some other retirement account, it is important that you add stocks and other investments such as bonds to your portfolio in order to make the most gains over time. Many young people avoid this step because they feel more comfortable with long-term savings vehicles like CDs and fixed income investments. But the truth is, the best way to make money in today’s market is by taking risks and investing in stock. If you plan on retiring someday, then you need to invest some of your money in the stock market.
6. Research Your Investments
Whether you do all of your investing online or whether you hire a financial planner, it is important that you research your investments before putting any money into them. Many people make mistakes by not properly researching an investment vehicle before jumping right in. By looking up the current price per share for stocks or mutual funds, comparing returns on different retirement savings accounts, and doing other research, you can ensure that the stocks you are buying are good ones.
7. Avoid Market Timing
Some financial planners say that market timing does not work, and others swear by it. The truth is, there is no way to know if the market will go up or down next week, next month, or even next year, so investing for retirement should not be based on which way you think the market is moving. Experts recommend investing for retirement on a long-term basis with little to no regard for short-term market fluctuations.