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Hint: You Need a Plan

You’re never too late (or too early) to start planning for retirement. The most important thing is that you have a plan. Research shows that women over age 50 are living longer, healthier lives. But unfortunately, too many American women are neglecting to put enough money away. According to this sobering statistic from the United States Census Bureau, 50% of women ages 55 to 66 have no retirement savings, compared with 47% of men.

If you’re concerned about not saving enough for retirement, you’re not alone. But today, we are going to show you how to take a more active role in your retirement finances at every stage of your life, so you can live your golden years in comfort and free from worry. Your future self will thank you!

If you’re looking for a more detailed examination of financial wellness for real estate professionals, we took an in-depth look back in 2021.

Dos and Don’ts for Retirement Savings

Do:  Take Advantage of Tax-Advantaged Accounts

The Well + Good Blog has a helpful article about retirement saving. One of their strongest pieces of advice is to take advantage of your work 401(k). “The first place you should save for retirement is your employer-sponsored 401(k) plan if you have one. The money comes directly out of your paycheck before it hits your bank account, so you may hardly notice.”

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are also great ways to save for retirement. There are two main varieties of IRA, traditional and Roth. Charles Schwab does a good job of explaining the difference here.

Don’t:  Procrastinate because you don’t make enough money

This is important: there’s never a wrong time to start saving. Even if your income is low right now, putting away a portion each month for your golden years is absolutely essential. Why? Something E*TRADE calls “The (Almost) Magic of Compounding.” This informative guide explains how compound interest can grow even small deposits into large sums over time.

Do:  Take the time to find the retirement plan that best fits your needs

Retirement planning seems intimidating, but in actuality it’s not very scary at all. You could learn what you need to know in about an hour—which is a tiny investment of time compared to the long-term benefits. NerdWallet has a fantastic resource, Best Retirement Plans: Choose the Right Account for You which provides a snapshot of various types of retirement plans.

As you well know, in real estate, some people are corporate employees. Others work as independent contractors. The NerdWallet guide walks you through what those differences mean in terms of retirement saving and will help you make the right decision based on your financial goals, your work designation, and more.

Don’t:  Avoid Investing Because You’re Worried About the Economy

Unless you have a crystal ball, you can’t predict which way the market will move. Which is why it’s not a good idea to try an “time the market.” Historically, investments have a tendency to rise over time, so don’t get too caught up in the headlines about recessions, downturns, or times of volatility.

You might consider dollar-cost averaging, a popular investment strategy that forgoes timing the market. As this article by E*TRADE says, “Think of dollar-cost averaging like wading into a pool, as opposed to just diving in. Instead of investing a lump sum all at once, investments are made incrementally with the same amount at regular intervals on a fixed and automatic schedule.” What that means is, when prices rise, you automatically buy fewer assets; and when prices are lower, you buy more.

More Retirement Planning Resources

Now it’s your turn

Are you actively saving for retirement? Have you overcome any roadblocks to saving for the long-term? Do you have any helpful resources, books, articles, or podcasts about retirement you’d like to share with the WMH community? Let us know. You could change someone’s future for the better.

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