When you’re young, retirement seems so far away. And who wants to begin saving for retirement when you have 50 years ahead of you? After all, you’re just starting a career, a family, and trying to buy your first home. Why put money away in a retirement savings plan? Unfortunately, this is where many Americans make a mistake, not having taken a finance or economics course in school and having not learned about the time value of money. The time to begin a retirement savings plan is today. Now. Two seconds ago. There are many advantages to saving for retirement as soon as possible, including having your money grow longer.
Wealth CAP is an online investment company that specializes in helping people form a retirement savings plan. We invest differently, offering up dynamic investment portfolios, which we call dynamic bucketing portfolios (DBPs), using a combination of stock market investments, alternative investments, and safe investments to maximize your gains, allow for a good amount of liquidity, and offer protection as much as possible from the volatility of the stock market. Below, we’ll review retirement strategies you can implement to secure your future today. Contact us today for a free consultation!
WHAT IS THE TIME VALUE OF MONEY?
The time value of money, put simply, is the idea that money is worth more today than it is in the future, even when you factor in inflation. The reason is because you can take money today and invest it in growth instruments such as the stock market or real estate and have more money in the future due to the growth. Thus, your net income this pay period is much more valuable than your net income the following pay period. The problem most Americans have is the majority of their paychecks are spent — not saved or invested — thus eliminating the advantage to the time value of money.
Taking the idea of money earned now being worth more (the time value of money) and adding in the benefit of compounding interest is the main reason you need to begin your retirement savings plan now.
WHAT IS COMPOUNDING INTEREST?
Compounding interest, put simply, is earning interest on interest. Thus, when you invest money, you are given a certain interest rate or rate of return on that money. This interest is added to your initial seed investment amount and thus earns interest as well. The amount of money now earning interest is your seed money plus your interest. This is small at first but as the months and years creep by, without you even noticing, your seed money has the potential to double, triple, and even beyond — all by allowing time and compound interest to work for you. Now, imagine that through the years you are adding to your initial seed investment. Then, interest grows on interest on a greater investment amount. The possibilities are limitless, and done right and early, you can easily retire a multi-millionaire with just a small percentage of your paycheck, say your coffee budget or your entertainment budget.
SO WHAT’S THE HOLD UP?
If becoming a multi-millionaire is as simple as giving up a couple lattes every now and then, a dinner out once a month, why are more people not doing it? The answer is two-fold: a lack of knowledge and a lack of a great investment advisor.
Most of us get through high school without ever having to take an elementary money course or economics course. And those that do go on to higher education specialize in other areas, meaning these courses are usually not taken. And because you weren’t taught in school, you don’t teach your kids this information, so they are doomed to repeat the cycle. Furthermore, our culture promotes instant gratification, and saving for retirement is a long-term retirement strategy that has no bells, whistles, or glory attached — at least until you reach age 65, and you’re vacationing in Europe while most of your colleagues are still working.
Secondly, most people don’t see the value in a great investment advisor. Investment advisors have gone through years of schooling and certification processes to have the foremost knowledge on investment strategies. However, most people don’t take advantage of them for similar reasons above. They don’t know the value in hiring a retirement savings plan expert and their parents didn’t, so they have no guidance on the matter.
When you know better, you do better, and Wealth CAP is here to help. Our mission is to educate you on the possible options to grow your money and plan for retirement. We give you many options and explain how stocks, alternative investments, and more liquid investments such as annuities work and, more importantly, how they can work for you. When you set up a free consultation with us, we’ll do a thorough survey of your current financial situation, your future goals, and customize a retirement strategy for you.
HOW TO START SAVING FOR RETIREMENT
- The key is to begin now. Just because you’re in your 40s doesn’t mean you missed the boat on the time value of money. The sooner you start, the more you’ll build. You still have a good chunk of time left before retirement.
- Save something over nothing. It doesn’t matter if you save $5, $50, or $100, saving something is better than nothing. Don’t make the mistake of putting off a retirement savings plan because you think you have time. Let time work for you, not against you.
- Contribute to retirement savings plans. Take advantage of every retirement instrument available to you. If your employer offers a 401k, put money in it. This money is pre-tax money, meaning your money will go to work for you instead of for the federal government. You’ll have to pay taxes when you take the money out, but remember, your money is worth more now rather than later. If your employer offers a match, match it. It’s often a low percentage (somewhere between 2 and 6 percent), which is a low amount you won’t have to spend on a Super Bowl party, and it’s free money — which is extremely rare these days.
- Open an IRA. Individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are government investment retirement instruments that have amazing tax benefits. The two main types, Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs are very similar with just slight differences. Traditional IRAs may be tax deductible and earnings grow tax-deferred. Roth IRAs are taxed up front but earn interest tax-free upon withdrawal. A professional investment advisor, such as Wealth Cap, can help you determine which IRA is best for you.
- Pay yourself first. Many investment firms and even banks have automatic contribution options, so you can set up a certain amount to come out every month and you don’t have to think about it. These are great because you’re not thinking about it, you won’t even notice that that money is gone. You can have money going into a savings account at your bank or to your investment accounts. Wealth CAP offers automatic contributions on all of our dynamic bucketing portfolios (DBPs).
- Budget. Most of us hate doing this, but it’s necessary. If you don’t track your money, you have no idea where it’s going, and it’s so easy to just swipe your card repeatedly everywhere you go that before you know it, you’ve just spent $200 without really knowing what on. Get a budget and make retirement savings part of it — and then stick to it!
- Set a retirement savings goal. Working with a professional investment advisor is recommended, especially if you haven’t thought about retirement planning yet. At Wealth CAP, we emphasize finding your goals for retirement. We’ll start by discovering the basics, such as where you are at currently and where you want to go, the lifestyle you want to maintain in retirement, and we’ll then map out a retirement plan strategy to get you there. This is an important step as the last thing you want to be doing is saving too little, which is important if you are getting a late start on retirement savings.
- Save the extras. Once you have a budget, you’ll know where your money is going. If you land under budget in months, that extra money is not “free money” to spend. Preferably, you save the extra money, even if it’s just in a liquid savings account. This can then be used for life’s emergencies, like an unplanned fender bender or illness. Or, at the end of the year, you can put that extra money into retirement savings. Every little bit helps.
- Delay social security benefits. When you turn 62, you are eligible to begin receiving social security benefits. However, if you are still working and don’t need the funds, you can delay receiving social security until age 70. This will increase your monthly benefits when you do start receiving social security, which you’ll need more when you’re retired. Another way to increase income in retirement is to delay retirement. Even one year can make a big difference in your retirement income.
Having a retirement savings plan in place will give you peace of mind and help to eliminate worry as you approach retirement. The earlier you think about retirement and plan for it, the easier it gets to save for it. Wealth CAP understands the challenges retirement brings. From increased medical costs to diminishing income, you have a lot on your plate. Yet you didn’t work so hard for so long not to enjoy it. With Wealth CAP, we can implement a retirement savings plan that will allow you to do all the things you’ve dreamed about, such as buy a home on a golf course or travel the world for weeks, and still lead a comfortable life every day. With our retirement planning experts, you won’t have to worry about unexpected expenses or medical issues. And with proper retirement savings planning, you’ll have enough to leave a legacy behind to your kids and grandkids. We’ll maximize your retirement income through our innovative dynamic bucketing portfolios (DBPs), using all the investment tools at our disposal. All of our retirement plans are individually tailored to meet your needs. And the best part is there are no hidden fees; only one monthly fee. Contact us today for your free consultation!