The thing about retirement is that for much of our adult lives, we often tend to cling to the illusion that it is off in the far and distant future – something to worry about later. In reality though, retirement is a lot closer than we all think.
To better understand what we can all be doing now to better prepare for the future, we turned the question to readers. After all, who better to ask about retirement savings than those who have learned from their own smart moves and careless mistakes along the way? We gathered some insightful answers to the following question:
“What do you wish you’d known about retirement savings when you were younger?”
While some of these quotes come from people working in the financial industry, many are from everyday people like you and me who have learned these lessons the hard way – from experience. Take a look through the advice, but remember, the best advice for you depends on your unique circumstances and should be run by a certified financial advisor.
“I would tell my younger self to save towards retirement with my first job. I would have also hired a financial advisor with my first job and set financial goals.”
– Harrine Freeman
“Start early – the sooner you start, the more you will have in your account when you retire. I actually waited until 30 before contributing…that was a big mistake.”
– Greg Meyer
“If I had it to do over again, I would create a cash buffer. Thankfully, debt was not an issue for me, but in hindsight I would’ve saved up to $4,000 or $5,000 as soon as possible to use as a cash buffer in case there was an emergency.”
– Ted Grigsby
“For young couples just starting out together it is important to learn about each partner’s unique money personality. What are your attitudes about money? What are your goals? Communication and understanding early on is critical to achieving your financial goals and having a harmonious relationship with your partner.”
– Mitch Korolewicz
“The biggest thing I would tell myself is to remember that this job may not last forever. I delayed, thinking I had another 25 years to work and save. Which I did…just not with the same company. It had a great 401k with match and I put off investing, thinking I could make up time later. Unfortunately, the last 10 years of my working career, what should have been my highest earning years, are not being spent with that company. So what I saved up to the point I left that job is all I’ve got. Now I’m just trying to make ends meet and put off drawing from my retirement savings as long as I can.”
– Cindy Lail
“I would start a Roth IRA with as much as I possibly could each year. I wish I knew this years ago. My previous career was in telecom. I was in my 30s before I started the 401k. I didn’t realize what I was losing with the company matching program.”
– Helen Hogan