Four retirement saving to-dos

Are you saving enough to enjoy the fantastic future you envision? Use smart savings strategies now to help make sure the retirement you want and can afford aren’t miles apart.

Save more today for tomorrow

When you think about your retirement, what’s your vision of a fantastic future? Whether your plans are grand or modest, you can plan on a retirement that may last 30 years or more. That’s a long time to go without a regular paycheck. How can you free up extra money to save for your future?

To do #1: Cut unnecessary expenses

Free up cash by cutting back on luxuries you don’t need or use. For example, are you paying for a pricey cable package, but only watch one or two shows? Consider getting your TV fix through online streaming services.

Do you pay monthly fees to a gym you rarely visit or for subscriptions to magazines you’re often too busy to read? Consider cancelling them and seeing whether you miss them (or not). 

To do #2: Make annual increases part of your routine

Consider making an annual gift to the fantastic future you envision by increasing your contribution to your retirement plan. Even a small bump each year—say 1 percent—may make a big difference in the long run. If it’s part of your yearly routine, you’ll be more likely to follow through. 

Small changes calculator

How much more can you save for retirement by trimming extra expenses?

Use this easy calculator to find out.

To do #3: Contribute unexpected or extra money

As tempting as it is, when you receive a tax refund and get a pay raise, don’t spend it all. Consider treating yourself with a portion of the money and stashing the rest in your retirement plan. Think of it this way: It’s hard to miss what you never had. If it’s in your checking account, you’ll be less tempted to spend it.

To do #4: Spend less

Small spending trade-offs can add up over time. Eating more meals at home, bringing your lunch a few days a week, even forgoing your daily latte (and making it a weekly splurge instead) can help free up money to save for other things—like retirement. Also, consider inexpensive ways to have fun. Rotate monthly potluck dinners and game nights at friends’ houses or attend local festivals and fairs (many of which are free). You don’t have to spend a lot to have a good time. Find more ways to cut back.

Now that you’ve got your to-dos, increase the amount you’re saving for retirement today! Log in to your account or talk to a financial professional.