People commonly state that they’re waiting until some unspecified point in the future to increase their retirement savings.
People say “I’ll increase my savings rate when I get my bonus, my next raise, when i turn 30 or next year when I have a bit more breathing room in my budget”.
Well, I’m here to tell you that next year is here and it is time to increase your retirement contributions.
Just to show you that I’m not talking the talk but actually walking the walk, I just increased my Roth 401(k) contributions by more than half of my recent pay raise.
All I had to do was log in to my 401(k) account and change my contribution percentage. It took a total of about three minutes and was so easy that I bet a kid could do it if you told them what you wanted done.
Why Increasing Your Retirement Contributions Is Important
Unless you are a retirement savings superstar, most people only contribute just a few small percent of their income to their retirement accounts. My employer’s default savings percent is only 3%, which is nowhere near enough to retire on.
Even when you consider your employer match, I’d only be saving 6% of my income for the future. Plug that into the calculator below and you’ll see that is nowhere near enough to retire on. However, at least these programs get people started with their retirement. Many people who don’t have access to auto enrolling 401(k)s don’t contribute at all!
Knowing that most people start at such small contribution percentages highlights the need for you to increase your retirement contributions. I personally think saving 15 to 20 percent of your income for retirement is a reasonable goal if you start investing when you are in your 20s. If you start later in life, you may need to save an even bigger percentage of your income.
A Cool Tool To Help You Visualize Your Retirement Savings
Figuring out how much is enough to save can be difficult. For that reason, I’ve included this cool tool below that will help you visualize how increasing your contributions will change your retirement nest egg. The tool is from Personal Capital, a pretty cool company that is helping people invest for retirement.
In fact, if you link over $100,000 in investable assets (including 401(k)s) to your Personal Capital account, they’ll set up a free call with one of their financial advisors to review your investments. Of course, they’ll try to get you to sign up for their advising service as well, but either way I think it is a great value just for signing up to use their software!
You can sign up with Personal Capital here after you check out the tool below.
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Now that you’ve had some time to play around with the tool, you can see increasing your retirement contributions even just a little bit can have a huge impact on your retirement!
Go Do It Now!
So why are you still sitting there, pondering whether or not to increase your retirement contributions? Go do it now. Call your retirement account provider. Walk down to your HR department. Type your retirement account provider’s website into a web browser. However you change your retirement contribution amount, go get it done now. You’ll thank me when you retire.