Saving for the future can be intimidating. But you don't want to put it off or settle for strategies that save you very little. There are plenty of ways to take charge of your finances now in order to enjoy a big payoff later in retirement. So whether you've recently started your career or you're counting the months to freedom, here are three simple ways to grow your nest egg.
Find out now: How much do I need to save for retirement?
1. Automate & Monitor Your Accounts
Knowing how much you need to save for retirement can make it easier to start saving and investing. Once you assess your situation, you can rein in your spending at every stage and stash more in your savings accounts.
Automatically saving a portion of your income each month can help you boost your savings without having to think about it. It's also a good idea to pay attention to your accounts to make sure you're aware of any changes.
2. Find Passive Income Streams
Having a passive stream of income is another way to boost your retirement income. Rental properties, for example, can supplement the income you're putting into an IRA or a 401(k). Being a landlord isn't for everyone, but you can start small or just rent out a spare room in your home.
Investments are great wealth building tools as well. You don't have to be the Wolf of Wall Street to build a balanced portfolio with serious potential. If you want to try something different, you can look into setting up an annuity, the tax-deferred investment that provides a regular stream of income after you retire. These have pros and cons, of course.
No matter what avenue you choose, it's a good idea to understand what you're getting yourself into from the start. If you need guidance, you can always turn to an expert for advice.
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3. Increase Your Social Security Benefits
On average, Social Security recipients can expect to receive $1,341 a month in 2016. While that's not a lot of money to work with, there are ways to boost the amount of money in your Social Security check. For instance, working longer and putting off retirement will automatically increase your benefit level (up to age 70). For every year that you don't take your benefit between full retirement age (62) and 70, it increases by about 8%.
Check out your Social Security calculator.
Living on a fixed income can be challenging, especially when you're trying to build your nest egg. But making small changes throughout the course of your career can set you up for a more comfortable retirement. By creating a comprehensive savings strategy and having multiple sources of income, you can stop worrying about retirement and move forward confidently.
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