For a variety of reasons, Gen Y isn’t saving much for retirement. In fact, according to a survey by Scottrade, 55% haven’t even begun saving for their golden years. Sixty percent saved nothing in 2010, almost double the amount of 28- to 43-year-olds. Factors like the stagnant economy and college debt play a role, but it’s not a lack of awareness—many members of Gen Y say they’re worried that Social Security will run out of funds before they see a benefit.
The good news is that it’s never too late to save. Here are some tips for saving for retirement, even when 65 seems a long ways off:
- Get started! First jobs often don’t pay much, but even a few dollars a month at first accumulates substantially over time. It also gets you in the habit of putting away a portion of your check for the future. This is especially crucial if your company sponsors a retirement plan—you can put in pre-tax dollars and your employer often will match at least some of your contribution. We’d love to get you started with an IRA for as little as $25.
- Be careful with credit cards. One reason many young people can’t save is because they are working to eliminate debt. Try not to compound the problem by overusing credit cards for things you can’t really afford.
- Put together a plan. There are a number of web sites and money mentors (including Summit Financial Advisors) that can help you figure out a plan to meet your goals. Take advantage of these tools and teachers to create a road map to the future.