- An IRA lets you save for retirement in a tax-advantaged manner.
- Sometimes, all it takes is the right strategy to boost your savings rate.
These moves could be your ticket to retirement wealth.
You may be at a point in your career when retirement is many years away. And if so, saving for it may not be much of a priority.
What's more, you may not think you need to save for retirement at all. But if that's the case, consider that the average senior on Social Security today collects $1,665 a month. If you expect Social Security to be your sole income source in retirement, you may end up having to live an extremely frugal lifestyle -- and you might still risk falling behind on basic bills.
A better bet is to save for retirement consistently throughout your career, and the sooner you start, the better. Of course, funding an IRA isn't the easiest thing to do. But it's an important thing to do nonetheless.
Now you don't have to save for retirement in an IRA. You could open a regular brokerage account instead.
But with a traditional IRA, you'll get a tax break on the money you put into your account, so it's worth taking advantage of that. And if you adopt these three strategies, you might have an easier time ramping up your contributions.
1. Cut one expense from your budget and put your saved money into your IRA
There may be several things you pay for each month that are wants more so than needs. You don't have to slash every single indulgence from your budget. But what you should do is pick one expense to eliminate and put the amount you're saving into an IRA.
So, let's say you decide to cancel one of your streaming services, and in doing so, you free up $15 a month. You should immediately increase your monthly IRA contributions by that much. And while $15 may seem like a small amount, over time, it could go a long way.
2. Pick up a stress-free side hustle
If you already work full-time, you may not relish the idea of having to commit to working three evenings a week and every weekend of the month to boost your paycheck and carve out more money for your IRA. So don't do that. Instead, find an easy side hustle to take on.
Maybe you can drive for a ride-hailing service two hours a week when it's convenient for you. Or if you're good with web design, maybe you can spend three hours a week freelancing. Again, small IRA contributions can add up over time, so you don't need a massive income boost to increase your savings rate. Even a modest boost will do.
3. Make your contributions automatic
It's easy to let IRA contributions fall by the wayside when other bills or temptations pop up. And so one good way to keep funding that retirement plan is to set up automatic contributions.
Many IRAs let you arrange for a sum of money to move from your checking account to your retirement plan automatically every month. Signing up could mean funding your IRA more consistently.
The more of an effort you make to save well in your IRA, the more comfortable a retirement you might have in store. Use these tips to sneak more money into your long-term savings. You'll be thankful for having done that once you're no longer working and you realize what little buying power your Social Security income gives you.
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