Workers missing out on money for their future

Financial advisor: Start young and make savings a priority.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- Millions of Americans say they are struggling to put money away for their retirement funds.

A recent Fidelity study showed that nearly half of working Americans would opt for a little less money now to have a bigger investment in their retirement. But it also showed that the amount people are contributing to their retirement funds, like a 401K plan, is significantly less than the average amount people invested over the last few decades.

Mark Teed, financial advisor and Senior Vice President of Investments at Raymond James & Associates in Springfield said he often hears people say they don’t feel they can afford to save for retirement, but that it is possible to do.

“Studies show that if you don’t do it now, and put it off and say you can’t afford it, you’ll never afford it, they’ll always be a reason not to invest. You have to make it the number one priority for your future,” Teed said.

Teed also explained that if you start at age 25 and put $300 or $400 into your retirement fund each month then you will have accumulated at least one million dollars by the time you’re 65 years old.

The Fidelity study also found that nearly 80 percent of workplaces offer some kind of employer contribution to your retirement fund, but that not all employees are taking advantage of that.

Teed told 22News that you should be putting in at least what your employer is willing to match, and if you’re not you are missing out on free money for your future.

“You have to find out from your employer today if there is a match. If you’re not funding your 401K and there’s a match out there that you’re eligible for, you need to at least do the match. Do that for yourself, do that for your family, so that for your future retirement,” Teed said.

And as for where that money should be invested? Teed has this advice:

He said high growth over time is the key. Focus your 401K savings on high growth options like blue chip stocks, small cap stocks, emerging market stocks, or international stocks. Those grow much more over time than options like treasury bills or government bonds.

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