Regardless of where you are in life, now is the best time to start putting money away for the future. And if you’re like most people, you have lots of competing priorities—paying off debt, saving for a home and starting a family, to name just a few.
When it comes to planning for retirement, it’s never too late to get started.
There never seems to be enough money to cover regular expenses, such as food, clothing, housing, transportation and entertainment.
Here are four easy ways to start taking control of your finances:
Pay off your credit cards.
Make this your first priority. The faster you’re able to get out from under high-interest debt, the sooner you can start making your money work for you.
Create a budget.
Once you have a handle on your income and expenses, suddenly you’re the one in control—and you can start planning ways to improve your situation.
Take advantage of free money.
If your employer offers an employer-sponsored retirement plan such as a 401(k) or 403(b), find out if they offer matching contributions and make sure to take full advantage of them.
Contribute to an IRA.
Employer-sponsored retirement plans and Social Security might not be enough to fund your retirement. An IRA lets you choose from a wide range of investments, and your money can potentially grow tax-free. And a contribution of as little as $50 per month can make a big difference in the long run.
A BB&T Investment Services, Inc. Investment Counselor can help decode the world of investing and walk you through some simple strategies for choosing the right investments.
An Investment Counselor can talk with you about:
Even if you are able to invest only a small amount, the sooner you begin, the more you’ll benefit from the power of compounding interest in the long run.
This chart shows how much more you can save if you start early. A delay of even a few years could cost you thousands of dollars. Regular investing through a workplace savings plan such as a 401(k) or 403(b) is an easy way to get started.
|The Power of Compounding||Don||Maria|
|Starts Investing at Age:||45||25|
|Stops Investing at Age:||65||65|
|Monthly Amount Invested:||$300||$100|
|Total Amount Invested:||$72,000||$48,000|
|Balance at Retirement:||$171,798||$324,180|
Performance is not indicative of future results. This example is based on a hypothetical annual return and is for illustrative purposes only. It is not representative of the performance of any mutual fund and is not intended to be a projection of future values. Mutual funds are subject to risks, such as the possible loss of principal, and rates of return will vary from year to year. This example assumes an annual rate of return of 8%, with all dividends and capital gains distributions reinvested. Taxes are not considered in this example and are due when distributions are taken from the plan. This illustration assumes contributions are made at the beginning of each month.