Retirement: It’s never too early to plan - East Valley Tribune: Business

Retirement: It’s never too early to plan

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Posted: Saturday, April 5, 2014 4:15 pm | Updated: 11:37 am, Tue Apr 22, 2014.

You’ve heard the saying, “Vote early and vote often.” That might be an old joke, but there’s a similar saying you should take very seriously — “Save early and save often.” Unfortunately, it’s a phrase not everyone knows or puts into practice.

Most Americans are unprepared for retirement. Almost half of us haven’t recently set aside any money for savings or investments, according to an April 2012 COUNTRY Financial Security Index. A related COUNTRY survey says about 40 percent of us don’t start saving for retirement until after 30.

Rarly bird gets the worm

Retirement usually isn’t on the minds of younger people, even though it should be. People in their 20s often graduate college with hefty credit card debt. Student loans and car payments seem to be bigger priorities. In many peoples’ minds, there never seems to be a good time to save for retirement.

Procrastination

comes with a price

If a person invests $3,000 per year beginning at age 35, it’s likely he/she will have almost $367,038 at retirement. If that person begins saving the same amount just a decade earlier, the total would be $839,343. That’s $472,305 more. The length of time you invest is just as important as the type of investments you make.

How to get help

A successful plan starts with the understanding that retirement is just as much a priority as a mortgage payment or power bill. Make room for the financial commitment in your life, even if it means you have to reduce spending elsewhere. Buy a car with better gas mileage. Skip the $4 coffee every morning.

Retirement educational resources are everywhere

You can find information on the Internet, in books or you can listen to advice from family members. The most helpful education, however, comes from a financial professional, according to a study by the Economic Policy Institute. Here are some issues to consider:

• You don’t have to be wealthy to have a financial advisor.

• Ask questions. A financial advisor should make your plan understandable, not complicated.

• Make sure your advisor provides a tangible plan that fits your specific needs.

Your happiness in your retirement years largely depends on what you do today. Take charge of your future.

• COUNTRY Financial Representative Marcia Kennedy, whose office is located at 1640 S. Stapley Drive in Mesa, may be reached at (480) 325-1521, ext. 232.

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