One thing I love to do is travel. The cash money I use to spend where I go comes from the coins I have saved during the year. Whenever I have any coins I put it in a coffee can and by year end I have saved over a hundred dollars. I also put money into a savings account that I do not touch because that is the money I pay for my vacation trips. Savings can be simple if you start small and then increase your amount a little bit at a time.

Start saving, keep saving, and stick to your goals

You know that saving is a rewarding habit. If you’re not saving, it’s time to get started. Start small if you have to and try to increase the amount you save each month. The sooner you start saving, the more time your money has to grow. Make saving for retirement a priority. Devise a plan, stick to it, and set goals. Remember, it’s never too early or too late to start saving.

Know your retirement needs

Retirement is expensive. Experts estimate that you will need about 70 percent of your preretirement income – lower earners, 90 percent or more – to maintain your standard of living when you stop working. Take charge of your financial future. The key to a secure retirement is to plan ahead. Start by requesting Savings Fitness: A Guide to Your Financial Future and, for those near retirement, Taking the Mystery Out of Retirement Planning.

Don’t touch your retirement savings

If you withdraw your retirement savings now, you’ll lose principal and interest and you may lose tax benefits or have to pay withdrawal penalties. If you change jobs, leave your savings invested in your current retirement plan, or roll them over to an IRA or your new employer’s plan.

Put money into an Individual Retirement Account

You can put up to $5,000 a year into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA); you can contribute even more if you are 50 or older. You can also start with much less. IRAs also provide tax advantages.

When you open an IRA, you have two options – a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA. The tax treatment of your contributions and withdrawals will depend on which option you select. Also, the after-tax value of your withdrawal will depend on inflation and the type of IRA you choose. IRAs can provide an easy way to save. You can set it up so that an amount is automatically deducted from your checking or savings account and deposited in the IRA.

Ask Questions

While these tips are meant to point you in the right direction, you’ll need more information. Talk to your employer, your bank, your union, or a financial adviser. Ask questions and make sure you understand the answers. Get practical advice and act now.

The information for this blog has been provided by the United States Department of Labor. To find out more, call the Employee Benefits Security Administration at 1.866.444.3272 and request the following brochures:

Savings Fitness: A Guide to Your Money and Your Financial Future

Taking The Mystery Out Of Retirement Planning

What You Should Know About Your Retirement Plan

Filing a Claim for Your Retirement Benefits

Women and Retirement Savings

Choosing a Retirement Solution for Your Small Business

Carol Martinez, Payroll Administrator

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