Retired Thinking: Why Can’t You Save For Retirement While Young?

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So, you’re 30 something years old and you still haven’t saved for retirement.

What now?

Well, maybe you assume you still have 20 or 30 years to save, and that should be adequate amount of time to get to 60 or 65 years of age and not have to worry about going back to work at 70 since you really didn’t save as much as you thought.

Your 30s are the ideal time to not just start saving for retirement but to revisit what you are doing and make necessary changes in order to make sure you’re retiring in style, rather than scraping together at the 11th hour in the hopes that you’ll have what you need.

Saving for retirement is twofold: it’s about saving money when you should be at an age when you’re settled and also looking at retirement as more than just socking money away on your own.

You have to ask yourself tough questions, like if you have adequate retirement funds set up, such as an IRA to go with your 401K at work. You also have to resist the temptation to take from the 401K, not only do you face early withdrawal penalties but also that little voice in your head that says you need to borrow $5,000 for a home repair and can easily get that back in your 401K in the next few years. That mentality might work for an emergency medical issue or bill that needs paid, but you can’t keep going back to that well every time you are in a pinch.

And pinching is what you should be doing with those pennies as far as being able to save money in your 30s. You’d like to think that you have a home, a car and are relatively secure with your possessions, so you might want to consider revising your budget and scaling back in the most appropriate and easiest of places: cable television, clothing allowances, cell phone up charges, bank fees and eating out at restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner or any combination of those three.

As much as your 30s can be viewed as a time to think about making as much money as possible and enjoying your youth, you can’t overlook retirement, particularly if your company is offering you a head start or if you’re simply forgoing the planning part for the sake of spending versus saving.

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