Wednesday, September 23, 2015

It's Never Too Soon (Or Too Late) To Start Retirement Planning!

Have you ever noticed the way that there is always an excuse to avoid retirement planning? We either convince ourselves that we're too young for it to be relevant, or that we're too old and that it's too late for us to save anything worthwhile. This week, your friends at First Bank of the Lake are here to remind you that while it's certainly best to start investing and planning for retirement at the Lake of the Ozarks sooner than later, it's never too late! Here are a few quick tips to help you plan for your retirement (no matter how old you are).

1. Live Below Your Means - And Your Budget!
We often talk about the dangers of spending beyond your means, but we don't spend enough time addressing the benefits of spending below your means. Think about it - if you live paycheck to paycheck every month, how are you going to be able to put any money aside for retirement? Starting a budget will be your first step towards learning how to live below your means. In your budget, you can designate a certain amount to set aside for retirement every month. (See our earlier blog for simple budgeting solutions.)

2. Invest Salary Raises & Other New Sources Of Income
There are few things quite as exciting as getting a raise, bonus, or other new surplus of money. While it can certainly be tempting to put these funds towards that brand-new TV you've been eyeing, the smart financial move is to invest your surplus into your retirement account. Since you didn't have this extra money before, you shouldn't miss it - and every little bit you add to your monthly contribution to your retirement accounts can have exponential effects over time.

3. Set A Goal
Think about your last New Year's Resolution. Did you simply say, "I'm going to exercise more?" If so, you might have had trouble sticking to it. If, on the other hand, you said, "I'm going to walk one mile three times per week," you might have seen more success. If you want to set your retirement plan up for success, set a goal and monitor your progress. In addition to setting a long-term goal, we suggest setting benchmarks along the way. This will help the ultimate goal seem more attainable and can give you reason to celebrate little successes along the way.

4. Contribute To A 401k Or Other Retirement Plan
In addition to opening an IRA at the Lake of the Ozarks, we recommend contributing to other retirement plans as well. If you are lucky enough to work for an employer who offers a workplace retirement plan, take advantage of it - especially if your employer offers a 401k plan match. The money invested in your 401k actually reduces your taxable income. Ultimately, you should plan to take advantage of any investment opportunity available to you.

5. Start Today
Once you have used your budget to identify how much to put towards retirement every month, it's time to actually make it happen. The sooner you get started, the sooner you can let compound interest start working in your favor. In other words, the sooner you get started, the more money you will have saved in the long run.

Contact First Bank Of The Lake For Help!
If you have questions about retirement planning at the Lake of the Ozarks or if you would like to get started, stop by and see us or give us a call at 573-348-2265. We would be happy to help!

First Bank of the Lake - Striving For Excellence
Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Located at the entrance to the Osage Beach Premium Outlets!
4558 Osage Beach Parkway, Suite 100
Osage Beach, MO 65065
(573) 348-2265

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