There are a few facts in life that we cannot avoid. One, we are all born to grow old. Two, we’re expected to pay taxes. And three, if you don’t have a sufficient retirement fund in place when you retire, you could be in for some tough times.
Women fall behind
Every parent wants the best for their children, and women are notorious for placing the needs of their children ahead of their personal necessities. Saving for retirement is one of those personal necessities that falls to the wayside, especially when a woman goes through a divorce that leaves her a single parent to one or more children.
Too many women wake up one day and wonder where their lives have gone. They find themselves looking at 50 candles on their birthday cake, suddenly realizing they’re sliding toward their “golden years,” with no gold in a retirement fund.
The nest egg is an empty shell.
Don’t count yourself out
You may feel a bit down when the realization hits, but don’t lose hope. You still have time to fill your nest egg, but you must understand it will take dedication, hard work and some strong decisions.
The first step is to make an appointment with your financial adviser of choice. You’ve got some catching up to do. You can also look into investment companies to find one that will offer the best return on your investment the quickest. Here’s a good guide to the best online investment sites.
There are some specific steps you can begin immediately to jump-start the growth of your nest egg. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), one of those facts of life we can’t avoid, allows you some extra leeway on contributing toward your retirement when you pass the 50-year mark.
Add this to your “things to ask my financial adviser” list.
Are you carrying any debt? If so, get it cleared up as quickly as possible. It is more difficult to build a nest egg if your credit card interest rates are bleeding you dry. Work extra hours if you have to, pour disposable income onto your debt rather than dining out or taking weekend trips. Pick up a second part-time job if you have to, and consider postponing your retirement date for a few years.
If your employer offers a 401(k), find out what you need to do to maximize your contribution. This is especially important if your employer has a matching contribution policy. If you don’t have an employer plan, look into setting up a private 401(k) or Roth IRA.
If you aren’t familiar with stock portfolios, do some research on the subject. You’ll probably want to jump into the stock market to build that nest egg rapidly.
You’ve still got time, so get moving.