Pay your future self first

  • The hardest part of saving for retirement may be not being sure you're doing the right thing.

    Wouldn’t it be great if your future self could travel back in time to give you advice?

    Here are five time-tested tips your future self might share.

    The first is to start saving as soon as you can.

    If you're not saving yet, start now!

    Getting an early start puts time on your side for your assets to grow - and gives you a chance to ride out the market's ups and downs.

    Once you get started, save as much as you can.

    It’s not easy to save when you’re just starting out, but try to at least max out your company match – that’s like giving your Future Self free money from your employer. 

    Tip number three – increase savings when you can.

    Your peak earning years should also be your peak savings years.

    Did you get a raise? Great – consider putting part of it in your retirement account.

    Fourth – Acting your age!

    It makes sense to take risk when you’re young. But as you get closer to retirement, think about more secure investments. You'll still want growth, but you may want to consider dialing down the risk to help preserve your hard earned savings.

    Finally, get serious about retirement planning sooner rather than later!

    Estimate your monthly retirement income needs and develop a plan to get there. Review your plan, use online spending and income tools, and talk to your advisor while there’s still time to enhance your efforts.

    And that’s it! Simple tips that could improve your retirement.

    Start today! Your future self will thank you.