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13 Ways To Boost Your Retirement Savings Rate

Are you looking to boost your retirement savings rate? Achieving financial security in your golden years is a goal we all share, and the key lies in taking proactive steps to boost your retirement savings rate

13 Ways To Boost Your Retirement Savings Rate

Morgan Barrons

Jan 25, 2024

You still have time to increase your retirement funds if you're between the ages of 55 and 64. Having a sufficient amount of money saved may make a significant impact in terms of both your financial situation and mental well-being, regardless of your retirement plans. Building out or catching up should be your main priority.

While saving money is always a good idea, it can be crucial in the final ten or so years before retirement. By then, you'll have a solid notion of whether or when you want to retire. More importantly, though, you'll still have time to make any necessary adjustments.

If you find that you need toboost your retirement savings rate, take into account the following tried-and-true retirement savings advice.

Start Saving Today

Money Used for Bills Payment
Money Used for Bills Payment

Your retirement savings will eventually be significantly impacted by starting as soon as possible. Many people's retirement is decades away, so the money you save now will have more time to compound and increase, making it more valuable when you retire than if you save it later.

Remember that even if you don't have much money to save at the moment, even a tiny first investment may have an impact. You will have more money at age 65 if you start investing at age 25 and start at age 75, as opposed to waiting until age 35 and starting at age 35. The difference between being able to retire and needing to work a few more years might be that extra time to compound.

Open A High-Yield Savings Account

Increasing interest income is one approach to increase savings. One benefit of rising inflation and the Federal Reserve's subsequent rate hikes is that depositors are receiving higher payments from a large number of banks and credit unions. Numerous financial organizations offer high-yield savings accounts that pay interest rates significantly higher than 4% annually.

You may then add that interest to your retirement savings, even if it is taxed. For example, if you have $10,000 in an emergency fund earning 4% interest, you would earn $400 per year in income with little effort or risk. That may be a good boost, mainly if you use the money to buy stocks or other assets with better prospective returns.

Composition of Calculator With Paper Money and Notebook With Pen
Composition of Calculator With Paper Money and Notebook With Pen

Open An Ira

To contribute to the growth of your nest egg, think about opening an individual retirement account (IRA). An ordinary IRA or a Roth IRA are your two choices. Depending on your salary and if you or your spouse are eligible to enroll in a job retirement plan, a regular IRA could be the best option for you.

A typical IRA allows you to make tax-deductible contributions and potentially receive tax-deferred growth on your investmentsuntil you take withdrawals in retirement. A Roth IRA might be a wise option for you if you reach the phased-out modified adjusted gross income restrictions, which are determined by your federal tax filing status.

Since a Roth IRA is financed by after-tax contributions, eligible distributions, including any prospective earnings, are tax-free at the federal level (and maybe state-tax-free as well, depending on the fulfillment of holding period requirements) once you reach the age of 59½. Find out which IRA may be ideal for you, and check the most recent 401(k) and IRA contribution limitations (PDF) to find out which kind of IRA could be best for you.

Fund Your 401(K) To The Max

If your place of employment has a 401(k) or a plan that is comparable to it, such as a 403(b) or 457, and you are not already contributing the maximum amount to your 401(k), now is an excellent time to increase the amount that you are contributing. Not only are these plans a simple and hassle-free method of investing, but they also allow you to postpone the payment of taxes on the money you get until you take it out of your account after retirement.

Due to the fact that your 50s and early 60s are likely to be the years in which you earn the most money, you may be currently in a higher marginal tax band than you will be when you actually retire. This means that you will have a lower tax bill when the time comes for you to retire.

It goes without saying that this is applicable to regular 401(k)s as well as other tax-advantaged plans. If your company provides a Roth 401(k) and you decide to take advantage of this option, you will be required to pay taxes on the income at present, but you will be allowed to make withdrawals from the account without incurring any taxes in the future.

An annual adjustment is made to the maximum amount that you are able to contribute to your plan in order to account for inflation. Under the age of 50, the amount will be $23,000 in the year 2024. (Source: IRS) You are eligible to make an extra catch-up payment of $7,500 if you are fifty years of age or older, bringing your total contribution to $30,500.

Crop Unrecognizable Accountant Using Calculator Near Pile of American Dollars
Crop Unrecognizable Accountant Using Calculator Near Pile of American Dollars

Use Your Employer’s Company Match

One other advantage of workplace plans is the contribution made by the employer. The majority of businesses provide the benefit of matching a percentage of an employee's contribution to their retirement plan, and this is a benefit that every employee ought to make an effort to take advantage of. "Free money" is how experts refer to the match.

How does it operate exactly? Your company may offer to match one hundred percent of your contributions up to three percent of your pay and fifty percent of your contributions on three percent more than that.

In the event that you contributed five percent of your pay to the retirement plan, for instance, your company would contribute an additional four percent of your salary through its match. This indicates that you would be contributing 5 percent of your salary to your retirement savings, but 9 percent of your pay would be going toward retirement savings.

Save At Least 10% Annually

To live comfortably in retirement, many retirement experts advise putting aside at least 10%, ideally 15% of your annual income. If you are unable to save a large amount of money at first, start modestly and gradually raise your savings rate, for example, by 1% annually. Transfer the money to an account that will pay you for being a frugal saver.

Never Try To Cash Out While Switching Employment

You must make sure that your money remains invested for as long as feasible if you want to reap the full benefits of your retirement vehicle. At this point, you want to increase rather than decrease your savings. Therefore, permanently preserve if you are changing employment and have the choice to transfer and keep your benefits or cash out!

You will be responsible for paying taxes on all withdrawals made before to retirement if you cash out. What's worse is that you will lose a significant portion of the gains your investments experienced over the years they compounded.

Resetting not only wipes away all of your previous earnings but it also reduces the amount of time you have available to begin compounding from scratch.

Coins In a Jar
Coins In a Jar

Pay Down The Remaining Debt

One of the finest things you can do for yourself is to manage your debt before retirement. Considering how high interest rates may be, starting with credit card debt is a brilliant idea.

Consider contacting your credit card provider to see if you can work out a reduced interest rate if you are unable to pay it off in full right away. They could consider it if you've been with the firm for a long time and have a solid payment history.

Next on the list should be mortgage debt, which is a significant debt for most people. Refinancing or paying off your mortgage ahead of time might help you avoid spending thousands of dollars in interest, freeing up money that you could use for savings.

Consider seeking advice from a financial expert or making additional payments. Finally, this should go without saying, but just in case you decide you'd want to retire earlier than expected, now is a good time to avoid taking on additional, significant debt.

A Person Budgeting His Money
A Person Budgeting His Money

Adjust Your Risk Tolerance And Make Smart Investments

It's critical to modify your risk tolerance in the years leading up to retirement in order to safeguard the assets you've already accumulated; a well-balanced portfolio is the aim at this point. Your goal is to diversify your investments so that you may increase your savings without incurring too much risk and having to postpone your retirement by a few years.

Bonds are a better investment than stocks, but don't forget to include equities in your portfolio as well; they may help guarantee growth far into your retirement. Following these guidelines will put you on the right track to an incredible retirement, regardless of where you are in the retirement planning process.

Budget Spending

When invested sensibly, little sums of money may pile up over time, so knowing how you're spending your money now might help you create a retirement savings strategy. Creating a monthly budget and keeping track of everything you spend money on might be beneficial.

Typically, throughout a budgeting exercise, specific patterns or behaviors surface that may be broken to increase your savings. You may have subscriptions that are set to renew automatically, and you've forgotten about them, or your dining-out expenses are excessive. Recall that even a little increase in monthly savings can have a significant cumulative effect.

Work A Little Longer

Adding a few more years to the conclusion of your work might be a terrific approach to increase your chances of retiring. But it can be more complicated. People may be unable to work as long as they would want due to health concerns, and ageism at work may make things challenging and demoralizing for seasoned employees. Continuing to work might significantly increase your savings if you feel like you're falling behind on them.

The average age at which respondents stated they planned to retire was 65. Retiring at the entire Social Security retirement benefits age (about age 67) might raise the national RSA score of the median American by 17 points. Another wise move is to defer taking Social Security benefits until age 70 rather than 65 since this might result in a 43% boost in benefits.

Various Pill Packages Near American Dollar Bills
Various Pill Packages Near American Dollar Bills

Make A Plan For Your Health Insurance

Since their employer's plan covers them while they're employed, many people need to remember to budget for healthcare expenses in retirement. However, retirement healthcare expenses can be high, and some research indicates you should budget hundreds of thousands of dollars for them in your later years.

Using a health savings account (HSA) is a practical method of saving for these expenses. Similar to retirement accounts, health savings accounts (HSAs) allow users to withdraw money tax-free for qualifying medical costs whenever they want.

The triple tax benefit of tax-deductible contributions, tax-free withdrawals for medical bills, and tax-deferred growth on your investments is available with health savings accounts (HSAs), which are provided as a component of high-deductible health insurance plans.

HSAs can also serve as supplemental retirement accounts since, when you turn 65, you can take out the money for any reason; the only catch is that withdrawals for non-medical uses will incur taxes.

Don’t Forget About Taxes

Lastly, keep in mind that not all of the money you accumulate for retirement is yours to retain. The IRS will tax you at your regular income rate (rather than the reduced rate for capital gains) when you remove money from a typical 401(k)-style plan or traditional IRA.

For example, if you are in the 22% bracket, you will only receive $780 for every $1,000 you withdraw. Plan to hang onto more of your retirement savings, perhaps by relocating to a state with lower taxes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is Boosting Your Retirement Savings Rate Important?

Boosting your retirement savings rate is crucial to ensure financial security during your retirement years, providing a comfortable lifestyle without relying solely on social security or pensions.

How To Assess Your Current Retirement Savings?

Calculate the total amount in your retirement accounts and evaluate if it aligns with your retirement goals and timeline.

How Can You Maximize Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans?

Take full advantage of employer contributions, optimize your contributions, and carefully select investment options within your employer-sponsored plans.

Final Thoughts

Although saving enough money for retirement may seem like an overwhelming undertaking, it is attainable if you create and follow a strategy, and it will help you boost your retirement savings rate. Make every effort to begin investing and saving now since even little sums accumulate over time. Make sure you utilize the retirement plan alternatives offered by your workplace and make a sufficient contribution to qualify for the full employer match.

As soon as you can, pay off expensive debt and monitor your spending carefully to prevent poor spending habits from reducing your capacity to save. HSAs provide a triple tax benefit and can serve as an additional retirement account if you're seeking for strategies to prepare for medical expenses in retirement.

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