Although retirement is one of the biggest financial steps we can take in our life, many people struggle with how to begin and prepare. For retirement to be as relaxing and worry-free as possible, it’s imperative to start saving early. Even if you are still financially unstable or not as wealthy as the median, you can still save for retirement in small increments. Here are some small ways to save big for retirement:

Pay Your Savings First

Start by making saving money easy and automatic. Get in the habit of paying yourself first and decide how much of your income can afford to go into retirement savings. Having a retirement plan at work such as a 401k, 403b, or 457 is the best place to start. These plans come directly out of your paycheck. This is a great way to set up your retirement savings and then forget about it because it’s automatic. The same pre-tax saving approach can be done through health savings accounts (HSA) or when saving in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) by setting up automatic payments through your paycheck or through your bank account.

Watch Your Spending Habits

Your spending habits today directly affect your future retirement. Take a look at your budget and see where you can rein in your spending to save more money. Try negotiating a lower rate on your car insurance or start using more coupons when you’re going grocery shopping. These small efforts can help you save more in the long run. The money you save today can go straight to your retirement savings. 

Raise Your Savings After a Raise

Unfortunately, many people have the mentality that getting a raise means spending more money on their lifestyle. While living in the moment could make us happier in some aspects, it’s important to always keep the future in mind. If you get a raise, the biggest change you should focus on is being able to save more for retirement. Instead of moving to somewhere more expensive or buying a better car, take a large portion of your new raise towards retirement savings. 

Possibly Delay Social Security

As retirement gets closer, keep in mind that for every year you delay receiving a Social Security payment before the age of 70, the more you increase the amount you receive. Although age 62 is the earliest Social Security retirement benefits starts, every year until the age of 70, the monthly benefit will increase, which can add up quickly. Putting off retirement for just one year can have a significant effect, even for your spouse. If you are able to, consider delaying your social security benefits to reap the benefits. 


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