According to a recent study by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, the median retirement savings for Americans in their 30s is $45,000. That’s not bad, but it could be better. In fact, there are some things that people do that make saving for retirement much harder than it needs to be. Here’s how to review (and avoid) some of those tactics.
Failing to Earn an Employee Match on a 401(k)
If you have a company 401(k) match, and you’re not meeting the threshold, you’re bypassing free money. As USA Today notes, let’s say your employer matches 100 percent of your contributions for up to three percent of your salary. Let’s also assume you’re getting an annual seven percent return. If you make $50,000, you could be getting an extra $1,500 per year if you meet the match. That’s a lot of money to miss out on as the years go by. If you keep up the match for 10 years you’re looking at $41,449 in extra retirement funds.
Not Planning for Healthcare
According to a report from Fidelity, the average retired couple will spend $285,000 on healthcare, and that doesn’t even account for long-term care. Make sure you have healthcare in mind when saving for retirement, because you’re likely going to need it.
Planning to Start Saving “Later”
The longer you wait to start saving for retirement, the worse off you’ll be. Think of it this way: If you started saving for retirement at 25, you only to save $200 per month to end up with about $1.2 million at 65. Meanwhile, if you procrastinate, and wait to start your retirement savings at 35, you need to save $500 per month to get close to that same amount. No matter what your retirement strategy is, the most important thing is to get started now.