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Creating a retirement plan, saving up for the future

Most Americans know how important saving up for their retirement can be, but many have no idea when they should start saving.

The answer is: right now.

You may think that it is no rush, or maybe too difficult to start saving for retirement when you can hardly budget your regular spending. But the truth is, the sooner you start, the easier it will be in the future. Here are nine ways you can start saving ASAP!

1. Ask Your Employer

The first step you should take to start saving effectively for your retirement is to consider where your income actually comes from. If you have an employer who offers a sponsored retirement account, you can benefit from lower fees and more consistent, automatic savings.

401(k) plans through your employer are the easiest way to start building up savings for retirement. And because the money is drawn from your paychecks, you never have to remind yourself each month to make a deposit.

2. Consider an IRA

Whether or not you work for an employer that offers a retirement plan, you can also consider the benefits of an Individual Retirement Account, or IRA.

If you have an account with a local bank, establishing an IRA is as simple as creating any other savings account. As soon as you open your account, you can start depositing money into it each month, even if the amount is practically pocket change. Over the years, that money can seriously add up and contribute to a comfortable retirement.

3. Rethink Your Budget

Here at Atlas Credit, we are quite fond of reminding our readers in Longview and Houston as well as anywhere else in the great state of Texas of the importance of keeping a careful budget.

While you may already have structured your monthly budget to keep a savings account, see how much wiggle room you have to add an additional amount of money to a retirement savings fund.

You still need to be sure you keep an emergency fund as well as a regular savings account for whatever life may throw your way, but saving up for your retirement now is as important as ever.

4. Save Whenever Possible

Any time you find yourself with a little extra money in your pocket, do not let yourself spend it frivolously -- unless you can clearly afford it, of course.

Instead, put the majority of it into your retirement savings account. If you get a larger than average tax refund or yearly bonus from your retirement and have nothing too pressing to spend it on, contribute to your retirement.

The best part of a retirement savings account is watching it grow. And the larger it grows, the larger it can grow thanks to the snowballing effect of interest. Eventually, you should have enough money put away to finally retire from work and spend the rest of your days enjoying traveling, taking new opportunities, and living your life to the fullest.

5. Max out Your Contributions

The best way to save for retirement is to put as much as you can toward that goal. You can do that by maxing out your contributions, no matter what type of retirement plan you have. Give the most substantial amount allowed under law each year. The number differs depending on what kind of plan you have. 

The good news is, you can often reap advantages with this approach to planning for retirement. Your employer may match your contribution when you give above a certain level, for instance, which will increase your nest egg by a lot. 

6. Automate Everything

One of the easiest tips for saving for retirement is to put your savings on automatic. When you set up retirement savings to come out of your account automatically each month, you don't even have to think about it. This is one way you can "pay yourself first," or ensure you put money where it needs to go without being tempted to spend it on something else. 

7. Set Retirement Goals

If you don't have a plan for retirement savings by certain ages, then you don't know what you're working toward. Read personal finance books or speak with an advisor to come up with realistic goals for your 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond. Think about what you want your retirement to look like. If you want to travel, you may need to save more than if you want to stay home and play with your future grandkids. 

8. Put Extra Money Toward Retirement

Don't be satisfied with contributing the bare minimum. Our retirement savings advice is to put any extra income you get toward your retirement. If you get a tax refund or you start a second job, put that money away. Even a little bit extra each month will multiply in the long haul. Consider your retirement fund every time you earn money. 

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9. Take out a Personal Loan

Are you falling behind on your retirement savings because your money is going toward other payments? One way to eliminate that cycle is to consolidate your debt by rolling it into one lower-interest loan. Take out a personal loan to pay off your credit cards and lower your monthly interest payments. Then you can start saving for retirement with the money you save. 

Now that you know how to save for retirement, it's time to get started. If you live in Texas or Oklahoma and want more financial advice related to personal loans, saving money, keeping a budget, or planning for your summer vacation, keep reading the Atlas Credit blog or visit our offices. You can also apply for a personal loan online! 

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