Do not be too hard on yourself because a lot of people are having challenges and need help in retirement planning. For some, it is a concept too far off in the future that they do not have an idea of how to start. Others do not really care and have accepted the fact that they will have to work well into their retirement years just to get by.
You could start to stress out looking at how much you need at a certain age to be able to retire comfortably or at least, enjoy the same lifestyle now when retirement comes. That amount you need could be overwhelming, especially if you haven’t been serious with saving for your golden years. However, there are quick and easy ways to get started with it.
There are small trade-offs you can look into to help in retirement for the future. They may not be as challenging as maxing out your 401(k) every time or looking for a side gig to quickly increase your income and put more towards saving for old age. Though these examples will certainly help, there are small changes you can do now which can benefit your efforts to save for retirement.
Start commuting a few days a week
If you are using your car to get to and from work, it might be a good time to consider taking public transportation to save money and help in retirement savings. For one, you do not have to worry about pump prices too much because you do not take out the car every single day. The wear and tear on the car also slow down when you do not use it frequently.
If your commute consists of a comfortable train or bus ride, it gives you additional time in the morning. You can finish that book or even talk to a friend rather than being behind the wheel looking left and right on your mirrors for cars around you. This may not be as comfortable as your own vehicle but it can be less expensive where extra money can be redirected to your financial needs in your golden years.
Cook your own food
One other small trade-off you can do now to help in retirement planning and saving for tomorrow is managing your food costs at home and even in the office. The Street shares that one of American’s biggest expenses is food. Food is a necessity whether you like it or not and you need to eat day in and day out to survive. You cannot just completely give it up and hope for the best because you will end up in the hospital.
This means that your food costs will be a constant part of your expenses but there are small adjustments you can make to help you save more and be able to channel that towards retirement savings. One is cooking your own food for the family and even for the office. It lowers down the need to order take out or have your food delivered every night.
Apart from the costs, this can also be a healthier alternative since you know exactly what goes into each meal. You are not made to guess what is in front of you with mystery ingredients. This can be a tiring endeavor so it would help if you prepare your meals ahead of time. This way, you only have to cook for a short while at home or even just heat them up without having to start from the beginning every mealtime.
Brew your own coffee
It might not make you a millionaire but this can definitely help in retirement planning when you look at small trade-offs that will contribute. If you come to think of it, you spend a few bucks for coffee a few times a day. You might even be at a point where you believe you need coffee to fully function in your workplace.
As such, you start, sustain, and even end some days with coffee. Once you do this, it can add up to a nice sum at the end of the year. One thing you can do is lower down your consumption of signature coffee from expensive coffee shops and start brewing your own at home. You get to mix it perfectly just how you want your coffee every time and the aroma also helps you at home in the morning.
This is not to say that you should not buy coffee anymore but lowering this expense item can put a few extra hundred in your retirement pot. The sooner you can do this and the more consistent it becomes, it can be added to your nest egg which accrues compound interest over time helping you grow your retirement fund.
Be creative in your vacation ideas
As you try to enjoy the present, this could involve a lot of trips and vacations to help you build a lot of memories with people you love. The challenge when it comes to this is striking a balance with your current need to explore versus your funds for the future. It may not help in retirement if you spend too much on vacations and you lose the chance to save a lot more.
The idea is to not deprive yourself the chance to build memories but at the same time, do it in a way without compromising your future needs. You need to be smart in creating memories so you do not burn through your current income. One is planning for it ahead of time which means saving in advance for trips you want to take.
You can also look at staycations where the idea is to explore nearby places first. Drive to that beach an hour away or try that new hotel with the amazing pool for your children. If you have a decent-sized backyard, camp out with the children. They may not remember where you had the camp but the memories you will make will last you until retirement.
Create a regular exercise routine
One of the best decisions you can ever make today which will help in retirement planning for your future is to take care of your body. It can be a lot easier if your exercise routine revolves around an activity that you love to do already. This is because exercising usually takes a lot out of you when it comes to time and effort so it is better to use that time for an activity you already like.
If you love to swim, work in a few laps every other day into your schedule. This can help you get a total exercise and be on the water frequently. It is also possible that you love to bike so why not explore the possibility of using the bike to go to work and back home? Not only do you get a good cardio workout from it, but you also save some money from commuting or bringing a car to work.
There are times when you might not be able to think about an activity to help you exercise so why not try a couple of different activities? If you used to dance, looking for a group class to help you dance gives you good exercise and even create new friends. You can also try running for a few hours in the morning since it does not cost too much and an easy exercise to begin with.
You certainly need a lot of help in retirement planning but there are small steps you can take now to start making a difference.