It is always wise to start planning for retirement early, yet many people often find themselves with little in actual savings when retirement age draws closer. There are many reasons for this — life circumstance sometimes does not allow for any extra income to be put toward future retirement savings, or perhaps it was necessary to cash in a 401(k) early.
Regardless of the reasons, there are still ways you can play catch up at a later age and amass a significant amount of savings.
1. Invest in a Roth IRA
IRA accounts are akin to an investment and they are a great way to accrue savings quickly, even at a late age. For example, if you start contributing about $5,000 a year to an IRA at age 40, your potential savings could average over $400,000 by the time you retire. Even starting at age 50 can net you almost $200,000, although you may need to consider investing a little more each year.
2. Put as much as you can into your 401(k)
Have you ignored your company’s 401(k) plan all these years? The time has come to put as much as you can into it, since the extra effort will be worth it when you retire. Starting at age 40, put away the maximum amount into your 401(k) each year, and watch how it can net you close to $1 million by the time you retire at age 65.
3. Sell your home
Your first home may have been for the purpose of raising a family. However, if the kids are grown up and moved out, then perhaps you don’t need such a large home anymore. If you would consider moving to a smaller home or an over-55 community, you can sell your current home and pocket the profit.
4. Consider a reverse mortgage
If you don’t want to sell your home, consider how a reverse mortgage might be a more preferable option. This allows you to save money on payments, which leaves you with accessible funds for other expenses and retirement savings.
5. Increase your savings rate
You may be surprised to find out how much you can save each month if you do without certain unnecessary expenses. Additionally, if you can save 15 percent of your salary for 10-15 years, you could potentially save a few hundred thousand if those savings were invested at a suitable rate of interest.
You might consider cashing in insurance policies if you no longer need them — a last resort — but do not think that just because you are older, you won’t be able to save.