Set your goals and stick to them
Roll up your sleeves, because the simple concept of saving is usually easier said than done. It makes sense to start early, but not all manage saving cash at a young age. Our best advice is to start small and increase the amount you save every month. For the middle class, experts say you’ll need around 70 percent of your preretirement income to maintain your current standard of living. Those at lower income levels will need even more. So set your goals early.
Save along the way
A penny saved is a penny earned, right? If offered, make your financial life a bit easier by taking advantage of your employer’s 401(k) plan. Contribute what you can, because your company may match a good portion of it and your taxes could be lower too.
If this isn’t an option at your workplace, consider an Individual Retirement Account, which is funded by you. At Washington Federal, our IRA options are simple, straightforward and most of all, affordable—just $15 a year per plan. (You can have multiple accounts within a single IRA plan.) Choose either a traditional or Roth IRA and roll your existing IRA or 401(k) into your plan.
Don’t touch those retirement savings!
If you’re a bit short on cash for bills, try to find any other way to settle up – anything besides touching your retirement savings. Withdraw your retirement funds early and you’ll lose principal, interest, and maybe those precious tax benefits. You could also be subject to withdrawal penalties.