NEW YORK (NBC News) – Some startling new studies have found that nearly half of all Americans haven’t developed a financial plan for retirement, and up to a third have no retirement savings or pension.
Even for 20-somethings, financial advisers say the sooner you start saving for retirement the easier it becomes, and they have a figure in mind.
“Do what you can to start saving 10% of your income pronto, and then, once you get to that point.. then start stepping it up till you get to saving 15% of your income on an annual basis,” advises BankRate.com’s Greg McBride.
McBride says if waiting later to start retirement savings, which a Federal Reserve study found is what most Americans are doing these days, then that percentage of each paycheck goes up.
“So much of savings boils down to being in the habit, and what you need to do is make this like breathing, to the point where it happens and you don’t have to think about it. That means pay yourself first from payroll auto deductions,” he says.
Payroll deductions that go into 401ks or direct deposits into IRAs.
He also says do the same with windfalls, like a bonus or tax refund.
Most financial advisers tell you not to be too fearful of the stock market for your retirement savings. Remember, it’s a long-term investment, and with all the dismal returns we’re getting on savings, CDs, and Money-Market accounts, the stock market remains one of the few places where your money can earn money, or at least enough to stay ahead of inflation.
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