“I’m only in my 20’s, why do I need to start saving for something more than forty years from now?” That’s a commonly asked and valid question in the financial world. But the reality is, if you start saving now, it’s less to worry about down the road. You can spend all day sitting at a desk job picturing yourself retired on the white sandy beaches of some island in the Caribbean but stop: who is funding that?
It can be hard to be a millennial in today’s post-recession financial world. Some “experts” say this generation is better at saving than the last, others say they’re worse. Some say millennials are investing too conservatively, but after watching what happened to the economy in 2007, can you really blame them?
Relax and take a deep breath, because when it comes to savings, even just thinking about saving and reading this blog means you’re planning for your future and investing in yourself. Thanks to CNN Money we have some tips on how to start saving now and not worry in the future.
Let yourself get bitten by the savings bug. It may seem intimidating when all this information about investing, stocks, etc. is getting thrown at you, but if you focus on yourself and not market trends, financial security is simple. The key is habitual saving. It doesn’t have to be a large chunk of cash being saved at a time, but maybe 10% of your paycheck. Look at how much on average you use from a paycheck for necessities like rent and groceries, and save half of what’s left! A little bit on a regular basis adds up quickly.
Start building an emergency fund as a solid foundation, and from there you can focus on the long-term. According to experts at Real Deal Retirement, you’ll want to put 10%-15% of your paycheck in savings annually to have a comfortable retirement.
When you feel more comfortable with investing, talk to an expert, but be very careful when seeking help. There are good and bad people out there, and unfortunately the bad will do anything to take your hard-earned money. Meet with a few financial advisors to get the feel for what the best fit for you would be. Demand a breakdown of fees, and don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions. If they’re legitimate, they won’t mind answering them.
After the economic crisis in recent history, the Department of Labor has focused more effort towards better protecting consumers who are seeking financial advice, but there will obviously be some con artists that can fall through the cracks.
Being on your own financially is scary. And no one expects you to become a Vanderbilt after reading this, but the main goal is financial security. Because no one knows what life can bring, it’s good to have a cushion. Pretty soon you’ll be on your way to that sandy beach of retirement! Just forty plus years to go….