Alot of people stress the importance of starting a retirement fund early, but many people don't keep up with their retirement fund or even make one at all until it seems like it's too late.
However, there are plenty of ways to start saving money to catch up with your retirement plan.
A good start to catching up on your retirement fund is setting a realistic goal for the minimal amount of retirement savings that you'll need. The essentials are really all that you'll need to consider at this point. Once you're more caught up on your savings, you'll be able to set the bar higher.
You should start saving money as soon as you can. Even a few dollars or a few cents is useful to your retirement fund. Even if you don't have specific accounts or investments in order, you can still start saving up some cash to put into the fund later.
Debt is one of the many things that can destroy a retirement fund. Take care of as much debt as you can at the moment, and create a plan to lower your debt in the next few years. This is another area where every little bit counts. Even the smallest contribution toward lowering your debt can save you from hassle in the future.
Creating a budget is a great way to decrease your spending and maximize your savings for your retirement fund and future investments. Monitor your spending to get a good idea of what your weekly or monthly budget should be. Monitoring your spending also will allow you to get a good idea of where to set your base savings goal for your retirement fund.
If your employer has a 401(k) plan set up for all employees, take advantage of it. Sign up and start contributing. Contribute as much as you can whenever you are able to, and keep making contributions whenever you can.
If your children have left the house and you have unused bedrooms and space, consider moving to a smaller house to save on mortgage payments, heat, electricity, air conditioning and more. Selling your old house also will allow you to gain some extra money for your retirement fund. If you're currently renting your house, downsizing to a smaller home will likely save you money on rent and utilities. Selling old items that you no longer need in yard or garage sales or on the Internet also can build up a good amount of money for your retirement fund.
Even if it's just part-time and minimum wage, it's still extra income that can be invaluable to your retirement fund. Look around for a second job that won't interfere with your current job. Manage your time wisely, and ensure that you can handle the stress of two jobs before taking another one on.
If you need some extra time to save, extend your deadline for retirement. It may be disappointing, but it will allow you to save up more money and live more comfortably when you do retire.