Everybody dreams of retiring in their 60s and enjoying all the things they've put off for the last few decades. Unfortunately, the reality is that it takes a lot of planning to be able to retire at all, and many people never get that chance. If spending your days away from the office and in the sunshine is important to you, check out these tips to save for retirement now.
1. Get the Most Out of Your 401(k)
If one of the perks of your job is access to a 401(k) plan, now is the time to begin using it. These plans allow you to add money to your retirement savings prior to paying taxes while Roth 401(k)s add money after taxes. Either way, saving money now helps to set you up for the future. Some employers match the money you add to your 401(k) up to a certain percentage, so do your best to max out that benefit. While it may give you a bit less to work with now, the free money from your employer will be helpful in the future.
2. Purchase Items at a Discount
Whether it's the grocery store or a new television, avoid going to the store and purchasing the first thing that catches your eye. Compare prices, look for coupons, and wait until things go on sale to purchase them. Add the money you saved to your retirement savings. For example, if you normally spend $150 per week on groceries but you save $40 at the store one week, that's $40 more in your savings, or $2080 if you do so every week for a year.
3. Save Those Credit Card Rewards
Does your credit or debit card offer a cash back percentage for certain purchases? If you spend $2000 per month on qualifying purchases and get 1 percent cash back, that's an extra $20 per month. Rather than spend it on something you don't need now, add it to your retirement savings. Doing so every month for a decade will give you another $2400. It may not seem like much, but when you are literally spending money to make money, it's definitely one of the easiest ways to save.
4. Rent Out Your Space
Whether you have a spare room, a pool house, or an entire rental property, consider renting it out using a service like Airbnb and banking all that money for retirement. The platform, which has become quite popular in recent years, ensures your safety by allowing you to choose who stays in your space, decide when you are available, and determine how much you will charge. The average room costs more than $150 per night, and you can charge even more if you live in a popular area or during major events. Even renting a room out just once per week would bring in about $7000 per year.
5. Purchase Life Insurance Now
One of the biggest reasons people can't retire when they're older is because someone else in the family — usually a spouse — passes away without life insurance. Even the most affordable, impersonal funeral service costs thousands of dollars, leaving the family on the hook if there was no life insurance policy to cover the costs. Purchasing insurance now helps you to invest in your future. Some policies can even be used as retirement funds by allowing you to borrow against the amount of the policy. However, keep in mind that doing this leaves less money if something happens down the line.
Regardless of how you decide to spend your retirement, there is no denying that you must save. Even if you love your job and can never imagine yourself spending your afternoons on beaches or golf courses, there will likely come a day when you can no longer work. Saving money now ensures you won't be met with stress when that day comes.