If you’re one of the 72 million millennials in the U.S., chances are you’re still in the early stages of your career. You may not have even found your niche yet, since you have long decades for crafting a path to career development. The thought of retirement may not even have crossed your mind yet…but it should.
Why Plan for Retirement Early?
While final retirement may be the date you finally stop working (and for millennials, the earliest that might come is the 2060s), retirement itself is actually a multi-decade process. Preparing for it now is imperative in ensuring that your money lasts the duration of your life — this is particularly urgent for a generation that is expected to live longer than its Baby Boomer parents.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest considerations millennials should be visiting in their plans for the future.
Take Care to Build Your Credit Rating
Now is the time to be building a strong credit rating, not when you’re 55. If you have never taken out a loan or opened a credit card in the past, your credit rating may be minimal, or even non-existent. If you don’t already have an active credit card, think about getting one. Just be sure not to get in over your head…pay your credit card bill in full every month, if possible.
If you do already have a working credit card, consider using a reporting service to notify the credit reporting companies of your payments for things like rent and utilities, which can help you build more credit history.
Have “Good Debt”
It’s a myth that having no debt will lead to the best credit. This doesn’t mean, of course, that you should get yourself into unsecured debt to raise your score. Some types of debt are better than others when it comes to building a credit history. These “good debts” include mortgages, car loans, home equity lines of credit, general-purpose and secured credit cards, and personal loans.
Even if you have debt, it’s a good idea to always be investing. As long as you have earned income, you should be contributing a percentage (usually 10%) of your salary to the markets. If invested correctly over many years, compound interest will make your sacrifice well worth it when it comes time to retire. Millennials have no hesitation in consuming monthly subscription services (Prime, Netflix, HelloFresh, etc.), but they seldom have a monthly “subscription” to increase their net worth! If you haven’t started your self-subscription, it’s time to find room in the budget.
Take Advantage of Your Employer’s Retirement Fund
If you’re lucky enough to be working for a company that offers an employer-sponsored retirement plan, now is the time to be contributing to it, even if you can’t contribute the maximum. It’s this early “nest egg” that will grow exponentially in value to be there for you when you finally reach your retirement years.
If you can’t contribute the maximum amount to your 401k plan, at least be sure to contribute to the point where your employer matches your contribution. This extra amount will supercharge your retirement funds for future growth. If your employer doesn’t offer a 401k plan, consider some do-it-yourself planning by opening an individual retirement account (IRA). One side benefit of these types of retirement accounts is that they lower your taxable income.
Seek Professional Advice
If you’re serious about building the right foundation for your distant retirement, seek the advice of a professional who will be able to guide you to make the most of the resources you have.
At Toomey Investment Management, Inc. (TIMI), our business model is designed to treat all of our clients equally and fairly. We realized long ago that the financial industry dedicated many resources to capturing money from prospective clients but much less to service and accountability for existing clients. We will work effectively to optimize your financial situation and solve your problems. Call us at 203-949-1710 or visit our website for more information.