When To Start A Retirement Fund


Set A Goal Commit Repeat

How to start your retirement fund?

Several goals can be set in this scenario. The first is to start saving. Even if its just a few dollars a week, open up a bank account and deposit the money. While a bank account isnt the best investment vehicle in the world, it is a great way to start to make saving a habit. Remember, building a retirement fund is a long-term journeyand, as the saying goes, even a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.

Once youve set and committed to the goal of saving, the next goals are clear: increase your income and reduce your debts. Achieving the first objective will help you achieve the second one. To increase your income, you can either take a second job or get a better-paying job than the one you currently have. Although it may take time and effort to increase your income, it will help you stick to your plan if you keep in mind that this is a long-term effort. Set a goal of getting a better job , then commit time to a dedicated job search.

Once youve achieved your goal, your newfound income will enable you to reduce your debts. Then you will be able to tuck more money into your retirement fund. Putting together a budget can help you with this process. Its a great way to make sure your money is being used wisely. Remember that the earlier you start, the more time your savings have to increase through what experts call the magic of compound interest.

The power of compound interest is crucial to successful retirement planning.

Why Save For Retirement In Your 20s

When youre in your 20s, retirement seems so far off that it hardly feels real at all. In fact, its one of the most common excuses people make to justify not saving for retirement. If that describes you, think of these savings, instead, as wealth accumulation, suggests Marguerita Cheng, CFP®, CEO of Blue Ocean Global Wealth in Rockville, Md.

Anyone nearing retirement age will tell you the years slip by, and building a sizable nest egg becomes more difficult if you dont start early. You’ll also probably acquire other expenses you may not have yet, such as a mortgage and a family.

You may not earn a lot of money as you begin your career, but theres one thing you have more of than richer, older folks: time. With time on your side, saving for retirement becomes a much more pleasantand excitingprospect.

Youre probably still paying off your student loans, but even a small amount saved for retirement can make a huge difference in your future. Well walk through why your 20s are the perfect time to start saving for those post-work years.

Saving A Little Early Vs Saving A Lot Later

You may think you have plenty of time to start saving for retirement. After all, you are in your 20s and have your whole life ahead of you, right? That may be true, but why put off saving for tomorrow when you can start today?

If you have access to an employer-based retirement plan, take advantage of it. Most employers will match some of your contributions, so you’ll benefit from having an extra boost to your savings. And with pretax deductions, you won’t even notice your money is being put away.

You can also put money aside outside of your employer. Let’s consider another scenario to drive this idea home. Lets say you start investing in the market at $100 a month, and you average a positive return of 1% a month or 12% a year, compounded monthly over 40 years. Your friend, who is the same age, doesnt begin investing until 30 years later, and invests $1,000 a month for 10 years, also averaging 1% a month or 12% a year, compounded monthly.

Who will have more money saved up in the end?

Your friend will have saved up around $230,000. Your retirement account will be a little over $1.17 million. Even though your friend was investing over 10 times as much as you toward the end, the power of compound interest makes your portfolio significantly bigger.

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Choose Where You Want To Park Your Retirement Fund

Your first job is to decide where you want to do your retirement saving.

The federal government offers a few different types of qualified retirement plans you can use. The qualified refers to the fact that these types of retirement plans give you important tax breaks, which is why experts recommend picking these over run-of-the-mill investment accounts. But more on the tax angle in a sec.

Retirement accounts are generally broken into two types:

  • Workplace retirement plans. Many employers offer retirement savings plans, such as 401s and 403s, to employees. If you choose to participate, a portion of each paycheck will be automatically sent to your personal account in the retirement plan.
  • Individual retirement accounts. Everyone with earned income is eligible to have their own individual retirement account . You can open an IRA at most major brokerages. As with 401s, with an IRA, automating your contributions is so important, says Maggie Rapplean, a certified financial planner at Moneta. Automated savings is the surest way to get on track and stay on track, and its free and easy to set up automated transfers from your bank account to your IRA.

You dont have to pick just one of these, of course. You can contribute to a workplace retirement plan and an IRA at the same time.

, you can also save for retirement in a regular taxable investment account at a brokerage.)

Know What Fees You’re Paying


There are two kinds of fees that you must be aware of: investment management fees and Management Expense Ratios .

Investment management fees are the percentage of your entire portfolio that an advisor charges annually to manage your money. MERs are the fees that a mutual fund or ETF issuer will assess annually on the product that your advisor buys on your behalf– the operating costs are baked into their funds. For example, if Fund Manager Janice charges you a 1% management fee and buys for you an assortment of ABC Investment funds with MERs that all have 2% MERswhich happens to be a little below the average MER for Canadian mutual funds–youll be surrendering a full 3% of your entire portfolio every year to Janice and ABC Investments, regardless of how well the investments perform.

Considering that a decent annual investment return on a balanced portfolio is 5%, even small-sounding fees will be like investment vampires. Left unchecked, theyll suck every drop of gains in an account. One Toronto-based investment advisor showed that a fee of just 2% could decrease investment gains by half over the course of 25 years. And studies regularly demonstrate that fees are directly predictive of returns in a very simple way the higher the fees, the lower the returns.

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What Does A Good Combination Retirement Strategy Look Like

The earlier you can start saving for retirement, the better, but when you start, saving a lot of money in both a 401 and a Roth IRA might not be feasible.

Start by maxing out a Roth IRA while you are in your 20s, and if there is a company 401 as well, contribute just up to the amount you need to get your employers match, Whitney says.

As your income rises, saving on income taxes might become more important to many households. At that point, contributing more aggressively to a 401 account should become more attractive.

Planning your strategy this way allows you to end up with both types of accounts in retirement that have been growing for years.

Defining A Retirement Fund

A retirement fund can mean a few different things. At its core, it could be simply money you set aside for your retirement. These funds could be stored in a checking account, savings account or even technically a piggy bank. None of these are the best options, though, as your money is staying stagnant and not working for you enough in each scenario. In fact, in most cases its becoming less valuable as inflation increases, changing the value of money over time.

When most people talk about a retirement fund, what they really mean is a collection of retirement accounts. A retirement account is a specific financial instrument where you can put money for your retirement and invest it in various places so that it grows and multiplies. Different retirement accounts have special features that are meant to help you save for retirement. This most notably includes tax benefits that allow you to maximize your savings and retirement income potentials.

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Investing In Your 20s

The earlier you start investing, the better off youre likely to be. No matter how much or little you start with, having a longer time horizon till retirement means youll be able to handle the typical ups and downs of the markets.

Plus, the sooner you start investing, the more time youll be able to benefit from compound interest the returns you earn on returns that help boost your savings.

Starting to save for retirement in your 20s is definitely not an instant-gratification move, but its something youll be thanking yourself for the rest of your life. Start by setting a goal: At what age would you like to retire? Based on current life expectancy, how many years do you expect to be retired? What do you imagine your retirement lifestyle will look like, and what might that cost? Once you have those details in place, you can decide how much to start saving right now.

Tips For Saving For Retirement If You Started Late

How to Set Up a Retirement Savings Account

Imagine that you recently celebrated your 40th birthday and finally decided to learn about the importance of saving for retirement. You may have even bought a book or magazine about it. Except, it says that you should have started saving for retirement in your 20s. You’re well past that age and still haven’t even started saving for retirement.

Fortunately, you do have options, even if you’re getting a late start.

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How To Start Saving For Your Retirement Fund

The first challenge is to build a plan to save the lump sum youll need. Retirement savings calculators can take into account the retirement funds by age, meaning how much you need to save each month, depending on the number of years left before you plan on retiring.

Finding enough money to match that savings figure is one of the toughest challenges, but just starting to put aside savings is a big first step.

Instead of making savings an afterthought, make them a priority along with paying your bills. Cut back on non-essential expenses: the less you spend on unnecessary items, the more youll have left over to save.

How To Save Money: Retirement Accounts

When it comes to a retirement plan, there is no single way that everyone should allocate their savings. Depending on how much you have and what your goals are, you might want to consider different account types or investment vehicles. This is where a financial advisor can really help you. Financial advisors are experts who can help you choose the best investments for your specific situation.

There are a few ways to save that you should consider. If your employer offers a 401, take advantage of it. It will allow you to grow your savings without paying income tax upfront. How much you should contribute to a 401 will depend on your situation. Though if your employer offers a 401 match, its usually a good idea to contribute enough to take full advantage of the match.

If your employer doesnt offer a 401, you can get many of the same benefits with a traditional IRA. Many experts also advise that people diversify their retirement savings with a Roth IRA. Unlike a traditional IRA, a Roth IRA takes after-tax dollars. The plus is that you dont have pay income tax when you withdraw the money in retirement. Both types of IRAs can help you to reach your savings goals but you might benefit more from one or the other. For example, people who are just starting their careers might benefit more from contributing to a Roth IRA.

Common IRA Contribution Limits

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Is It Too Late To Save For Retirement At 30

Its not too late to start saving for retirement at 30. Take a look at your budget and determine the max you can contribute on a regular basis whether through an employer-sponsored plan, an IRA, or wealth management account . Then start making contributions asap, and consider them as non-negotiable as rent, mortgage, or a utility bill.

Why You Should Invest In Your Retirement Fund

How to Adjust Your Retirement Planning as You Age

Its never too early to start saving for retirement.

Investing in your retirement is one of the smartest things you can do for your future self.

Even if youre just starting out in your career, every little bit that you can put into your retirement fund will make a difference down the road.

And while it may be tempting to use that money for other purposes now, its important to think about your future self.

After all, youll be the one who ultimately benefits from a healthy retirement fund. So, if you can start saving now, youll be grateful later on, and heres why.

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Check If Your Investments Are Insured

You should understand that any stock market investment is speculative and past results should never be understood to be guarantees, but rather imperfect predictors of future performance. If you find a broker who says that hell 100% guarantee any investment, run in the other direction. That being said, any reputable brokerage in Canada will be a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada . IIROC members are covered by the Canadian Insurance Protection Fund , which will insure any investment account, including RRSPs and TFSAs, up to $1,000,000 in case of a firms insolvency.

Choose The Right Investment Provider

Now you know how much to save and what accounts to use. Next choose the best investment provider to hold your precious retirement savings. Seeking professional help with your finances can be a scary experience, a bit like taking your car to an unfamiliar garage for repairs. To choose the right investment provider, understand what’s important to you, do some online research, check that your money is insured and know what you’re paying in fees.

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Is 20 Years Enough To Save For Retirement

Its never too late to start investing for retirement. If youre just starting in your 40s, consider contributing to an employer-sponsored plan if you can, so that you can take advantage of any employer matching contributions. In addition to regular bi-weekly or monthly contributions, make every effort to deposit any windfall lump sums into a retirement savings vehicle in an effort to catch up faster.

Remember To Make It Automatic

Start investing for retirement with just your spare change

Dollars that you otherwise might spend elsewhere will be deposited straight into your retirement savings when you set up automatic contributions.

  • Determine the percentage from each paycheck that will be automatically contributed to your QRP at work.
  • Set up a monthly automatic transfer from your checking account to an IRA at Wells Fargo.

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Could Retirement Be A Thing Of The Past

Its not difficult to locate news articles that predict some variation of Retirement As We Know It Is Over. Its certainly true that times have changed since dad might work for GE for 30 years and kick back earning his full salary for his remaining days. A recent survey of American workers conducted by the American Institute for Economic Research found that 82% of respondents 50 and older planned to keep working past the age of 65.

“The days of the gold-watch retirement where we have an office party and maybe some punch and cookies and never work again are more mythical than a reality,” – Catherine Collinson, President of the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies

She went on to say that few workers envision that type of retirement and many plan to keep on working part-time even after they retire. It even raises the question is retirement the right word.

Do folks just love working so much theyre compelled to do it until their dying day? Not at all. Were just too broke to stop. According to a recent study, a full third of Baby Boomers, the generation closest to retirement age, have less than $25,000 in retirement savings, and more than 20% have nothing set aside at all. Even if you have significant savings going into retirement, you may still be concerned about how long it will last.

The Younger You Are The More You Should Lean Into Stocks

Over the long term, stocks offer the best chance of growing your money at a rate that exceeds the rate of inflation that decreases your purchasing power each year. But you probably dont want to put all of your money into stocks because they go through stretches where they fall in value, sometimes drastically. Thats where bonds come into play: When your stock portfolio hits a rough patch, bonds tend to hold their value and often rise.

The decision you face, then, is determining the right mix of stocks and bonds to help you reach your retirement goalsand keep sleeping at night.

The younger you are, the more you want to own stocks as you have decades until retirement. For someone in their 20s or 30s, its typically recommended to keep 80% or so of your retirement money in stocks. As you age this becomes more conservative to include greater percentages of bonds and bond funds. This way, youre less likely to face enormous losses when you have less time to recover from them.

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