While the Millennial generation gets a bad rap for quite a few things, a perceived lack of interest in retirement planning seems to hover near the top of the list. According to Investopedia.com, “Millennials have been plagued by poor economic conditions that have made it difficult to get and keep a job, especially one that matches their skills and expertise. Many Millennials also face crushing student-loan debt that makes it difficult not only to save for retirement, but also to buy a house or think about starting a family.”
With such daunting challenges, it’s no wonder some Millennials seem reluctant to start planning for retirement–but the key to successful retirement planning is more about starting early. Here are some options to help you get started.
Track Your Spending. If you’re ready to start planning for retirement, you must first learn how to budget. With a declining financial literacy rate, many Millennials don’t understand how to create a budget – let alone follow it. However, what Millennials do excel at is leveraging technology to achieve their goals, and the technology available to help with financial planning is more diverse than ever before. Many of these tools can help you learn to track spending and clean up your finances with minimal effort. You can get started with a service like Mint (link to https://www.mint.com ).
Think Outside of the 401(k) Box. While you may be happy with a 401(k), most resources recommend setting up a Roth IRA in addition to a traditional 401(k). Taxes are paid on a 401(k) when the money is withdrawn, while taxes on contributions to Roth IRAs are paid upfront. This is great for Millennials, who are likely to find themselves in a lower tax bracket as young adults than as retirees. When considering a Roth IRA, keep in mind that there are income eligibility limits, but most Americans qualify. Roth IRAs also have a maximum contribution threshold. To learn more about Roth IRAs, visit RothIRA.com. (link to http://www.rothira.com/what-is-a-Roth-IRA )
Recapture Spare Funds. When it comes to your retirement fund, it’s important to make sure that you’re not leaving cash on the table. If your employer offers a 401(k) matching program, make sure you’re taking advantage of every dime. Another option is to channel extra cash, or money that isn’t part of your regular income, into your retirement fund. If you receive a bonus, consider routing it straight to your retirement account. If you receive a raise, send that extra addition to your paycheck straight on to your retirement fund. After all, once that extra cash is in your pocket, it’s easier to find reasons to spend it than it is to save it.
Despite the financial challenges faced by Millennials in the workforce, there are many creative ways this unique group of young adults can begin planning and contributing to a retirement account. With a little research and a lot of determination, Millennials can lay the foundation for a strong, healthy retirement fund.