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9 Easy and Painless Ways to Save for Retirement

If you think that the only way to save for retirement is through an employer 401k plan, then I’ll have to tell you that there are several ways to save for retirement.

So even if you don’t have access to an employer retirement plan at work, you work part time, or you are self employed, that shouldn’t stop you from saving for retirement.

Not making a lot of money shouldn’t be an excuse either. The key is to start saving no matter how little you can contribute each month. Here are 9 easy and painless ways to save for retirement.

See how to allocate your assets to boost your retirement savings.

How Much Should I Save for Retirement?

Before we get into some of the ways to save for retirement, you might be wondering how much to save for retirement.

If you haven’t started saving for retirement or you have very little in your retirement savings, then there is no need to panic. You’re not alone. According to a recent survey by GoBankingRates, almost half  of Americans have less than $10,000 in their retirement savings.

How much to save for retirement depends on the lifestyle you want to have during retirement. A retirement calculator will help you figure out how much to save for retirement.

A retirement calculator will ask you to plug in some numbers like what is your salary, when you’d like to retire, etc.

Find Out Now: Retirement Calculator: Saving Enough for Retirement?

Related articles on ways to save for retirement:

1. Automate your retirement savings.

If you don’t see it, you won’t spend it. One of the easiest ways to save for retirement is to make it automatic.

So set up a regular transfer from your checking account to your retirement savings account after each paycheck. Or ask if your employer also has an automatic plan.

It does not matter how much or how little you save. The thing to keep in mind is to make it a habit of saving a little bit from every paycheck.

2. Create a budget and learn to stick to it.

Create a budget and learn to stick to it. The Personal Capital App is one of the best budget app that can help you save money. The point of creating a budget is to help you see where your money goes  and then set priorities.

3. Ask your employer to start a retirement savings plan.

If you’re just lucky to work for a company that offers a retirement savings plan like a 401k plan, you should definitely take advantage of it.

But if your job doesn’t offer a retirement savings plan, you should definitely ask your employer for one.

4. Save in a IRA account (either a Roth IRA or a traditional IRA).

Another excuse people make is that their job doesn’t offer a 401k plan, so they don’t invest in an IRA account.

If your job doesn’t have a 401k plan, you can open an IRA account or Roth IRA through an investment firm such as Fidelity or Vanguard.

If you’re self employed, you can still save for retirement with a SEP or solo 401k plan, which you can also open through an investment firm.

Just the fact that your job doesn’t have a 401k plan shouldn’t be a reason for you to not have a retirement savings fund. 

5. Track your expenses.

Do you know where your money is going each day? Each month? One of the best ways to save for retirement is to get an idea of how much money is coming in and how much is going out. The Personal Capital App is an easy way to figure out where your money goes.

6. Take Advantage of your employer’s 401k Match.

Usually when an employer offers to its employees a 401k plan, they usually match it, meaning that they will match a portion of the amount you put into the plan.

One way to contribute to your employer retirement savings plan, is to ask the HR at your job and ask to have a set of percentage of your paycheck automatically transferred into your your job 401k plan. A good rule of thumb is to try to contribute the maximum allowed (the maximum you can contribute to a 401k plan in 2018 is $18,500). 

If you can’t afford to contribute that much money each year, then try to at least contribute the maximum amount you’re eligible to receive matching funds.

7. Don’t tap into your retirement account early.

One of the best ways to save for retirement and boost your retirement savings is to refrain from withdrawing money in your 401k plan. 

There are two main reasons for that. If you’re withdrawing money from your 401k plan before you reach 59  1/2 years old, you’ll  have to pay a 10% penalty (there is an exception to this if you’re withdrawing money to purchase a home).

Second, you’ll miss out on the compounding interest from the stocks/bonds in your plan.

8. Put extra cash into retirement savings account

When you have extra income, you can add it to your retirement savings account. Here are 16 proven ways to make money fast in order to contribute to your retirement savings account.

For example, taking surveys in particular is a good way to make extra money. I recommend, Pinecone Research (earn minimum $3 per survey), InboxDollars ($5 sign up bonus + get paid to take surveys), Ebates (earn up to $40 cash back), YouGov US Males ($2 bonus + $8 – $10 per hour), MySurvey ($2 sign up bonus + 5 per survey).

So making extra money is one of the smart ways to save retirement.

9. Put bonus or tax refunds into your retirement savings account.

If you receive a bonus or a tax refund this year, put that extra money right into your retirement savings account.

In conclusion, if you think it’s too early to save for retirement, then think again. Regardless of your age, you need to start thinking of saving for retirement. The earlier you start, the better. Follow these 9 ways mentioned above to boost your retirement savings.

Related articles on ways to save for retirement:

Work with the Right Financial Advisor

You can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you save 100k (whether you need it to pay off debt, to invest, to buy a house, or plan for retirement, saving, etc). Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.

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