Five Key Steps to Saving for Retirement

The important steps you can take to help secure the retirement you want.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the prospect of saving for retirement. After bills and the expenses of daily life, it can often feel like there is nothing left.

However, it takes only a few changes to maximize your savings. By putting these key steps into practice, you can secure the retirement you want.

1. SET A RETIREMENT SAVINGS GOAL

When deciding how much to save for retirement, keep in mind that retirement industry experts recommend saving 15% of your salary each year throughout your career. However, if this would take too much of your income out of play, try to save as much as possible. You can find extra money to save for retirement by using the Fund’s Spending Plan Worksheet to help you reduce spending and save more for your future.

It’s also helpful to ask yourself: When will I retire? Where do I want to live? What will I do in retirement? Answering these questions will help you visualize your ideal retirement and determine how much to save. For example, if you plan to spend your golden years traveling, you may need to save more to have enough income to support this lifestyle.

2. START SAVING EARLY IN YOUR CAREER

The earlier you begin saving for retirement, the faster your savings will grow. With the power of compound interest—the ability to earn interest on interest—your retirement savings will increase significantly over time.

3. AUTOMATE YOUR RETIREMENT SAVINGS

Set it and forget it. The Fund’s 403(b) Smart Account allows you to automatically direct a part of your paycheck toward your retirement savings through payroll deduction. You can choose to save a percentage or dollar amount out of every paycheck. Plus, there is no minimum amount required to save in the 403(b) Smart Account, which makes it easy to get started.

4. NEARING RETIREMENT? CATCH UP ON YOUR SAVINGS

If you are age 50 or older, you have an opportunity to boost your retirement savings. Thanks to the 2020 federal contribution limits set by the IRS, you can contribute $6,500 more than the current cap of $19,500. If you have worked for the YMCA for at least 15 years, you may also be eligible to save an additional $3,000. Learn about contribution limits here to find out how you can maximize your retirement savings this year.

5. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE FUND’S RESOURCES

It’s never too early to start planning for retirement, and the Fund is here to help. Take advantage of these resources:

1. Log in to your account and use the Retirement Goal Calculator to find out how much you need to save on a monthly basis to achieve your retirement income goal.

2. Learn about contribution limits here to determine the maximum amount you can contribute to your retirement savings this year.

3. Save more for retirement! Make additional contributions in the Fund’s 403(b) Smart Account to give your retirement savings a boost.

We hope these resources will help you take charge of your financial future.