Retirement Planning & Your Everyday Budget

We all rise in the morning. And most of us go to work.


Just to do it all over again the next day?

Are you working to put food on the table? Or maybe your next vacation? Kids college? A new car? Or to stop working and get to retirement?

Reaching your goals takes planning. And that means getting a budget.

Not everyone has to budget the same way. And that’s okay. You have to find the way that works for you.

Some save monthly with money left over from paying bills.

Some use tax refunds. Others use spare change. Some wait for an inheritance. Play the lottery or go to the casino and hope for the best.

There are big differences between these strategies — but are there really?

Do any of them tell you how much you will save or how much you need to save?

In fact, one of the most widely used plans does calculate and provide estimates on your retirement benefits — Social Security.

Are you willing to rely on this system to support your retirement?

You may have heard the statistics and required reforms that must take place for social security to continue to support it’s growing population of recipients.

Getting from here to there happens one step at a time. You have a choice. You can prepare. It is in your control.

Use these 3 tips to fit retirement planning into your budget:

The Art of Automatic Savings.

Automatic Savings helps me save money every day. Everything is on autopilot — because let’s be honest, time is a luxury.

It doesn’t matter if your goal is short-term or long-term if it’s not automatic it doesn’t get done.

Money in the bank can get spent, so transfer it from your checking to savings account to avoid the  temptation.

Force yourself to save by setting up automatic payments that coincide with your paycheck.

The point of systematically saving a day or two after you get paid is so you’ll get used to seeing a lower balance.  The out of sight out of mind mentality.  It’s nothing more than a psychological trick — but it works.

Pay yourself first.

Are you more of a budgeter that sits down and tracks every penny?

Treat your retirement planning like a bill payment and pay yourself first.

Make sure your budget includes saving for retirement or any other goals. Write out the goal or line item on your budget. Give it a name and reason you’re saving for it. It makes it more real.

Cutting back happens at the beginning of the month. If you don’t think you can get to your goal — don’t delay — cut back.

Cutting back on your cell phone bill, your cable bill or avoid eating out.

If you want something, you have to save for it; retirement planning is no different. You can start saving for your retirement today by setting up automatic payments with an amount that you can afford each and every paycheck.

Saving is a state of mind.

Leave your automatic savings open-ended, don’t enter a stop date and don’t cancel them, not even for a month.

I know it can be tempting to stop your automatic savings when money is tight, but don’t do it because you will always find an excuse not to start them up again. Just stick to it even if it’s only a few dollars every paycheck. You may thank yourself later when you can retire.

Keep the focus and remind yourself why you’re saving.