Retiring rich requires a hefty nest egg so you won't worry about running out of money. If you want plenty of financial security in your senior years, the actions you take right now are important.
The good news is, you don't need a huge salary to build wealth and retire rich. And you can do it even if you're worried about your finances as the country is officially in a recession.
There are just three steps to take, and anyone can take them -- even during turbulent times and with a modest income.
1. Prioritize investing when making your budget
With only so much money to go around, there's a very real chance retirement investing will fall by the wayside if it's not a budget priority. Rather than spending on other things first and then trying to invest what's left over, treat retirement investing like an essential bill you have to pay each month.
You should have a clear retirement savings goal, know how much you need to invest to hit it, and budget for it every month before allocating any cash to discretionary spending. If you do, you're almost guaranteed to retire with the nest egg to be a wealthy retiree.
2. Automate your investments
It can take a lot of willpower to move money out of your checking account (where it's spendable) into your investment accounts each month. Instead of forcing yourself to continually make this responsible choice, automate your investing.
Once you've budgeted for a specific amount of retirement savings each month, sign up for automatic 401(k) contributions to have the money withdrawn from your paycheck before you receive it. If you don't have a workplace plan, you can also set up automated money transfers through your bank or brokerage firm where you have your IRA.
Automated investing means you save enough for a secure retirement without any effort and you don't ever miss a contribution since the money is gone before you have the choice to do something else with it.
3. Invest wisely
Getting your money into a retirement savings account is half the battle; investing it wisely is the other half.
First and foremost, you need an appropriate asset allocation for your age. Younger people should have a larger percentage of their portfolio in stocks since they have more time to wait out market downturns. To find out how much of your money should be in the market, subtract your age from 110 and invest that percentage of your assets in stocks.
You also need to pick the right stocks, which means a diversified portfolio of sound investments. If you don't want to take the time to really learn about companies you're investing in, index funds are your best approach. But if you're interested in investing and willing to put in the work, you may be able to do better by buying shares of strong companies.
Start taking these steps today
The sooner you take these three steps, the more likely it is that you'll accomplish your goal of retiring rich. Rework your budget today, find some cash to invest, get your money into the market, and you'll be well on your way to financial success.