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Someday you might want to retire. If you’re like most people you probably haven’t saved enough. If you own a business I can almost guarantee you haven’t. That’s because you think your business will provide more money than it really will.

If you work as an employee for someone you might not have done a plan that allows you to see how much you should save. I’m hoping that you’re under 35 years old and reading this post. If you are, it’ll be easy for you to save. If you’re not it gets much more difficult.

Start by doing a financial plan.

Without a target it’s hard to know how much you should save. A financial plan isn’t going to tell you whether you’re going to have enough money. It will tell you whether you’re going in the right direction.

If you only have a 50% chance of being able to retire with the lifestyle you have now, you better make some changes. If it looks like you have a 99%+ chance then you can relax. The reality for you probably is you’re closer to the 50% level than the 99%+ one. Get a target and then start moving towards it.

Pay yourself first.

This is an old adage in the planning world. Make sure you have a way of taking money out of your weekly paycheck. If you never see the money in your checking account you won’t spend it. If it’s there, you’re going to have a hard time writing another check or making a transfer to an investment account.

Make it easy on yourself. Pay yourself first by having money automatically taken out of your paycheck or checking account. It’ll make it easy to save.

Use your company’s retirement plan.

If your company has a retirement plan use it. If your company has a retirement plan match make sure you take full advantage of the match. After all, the match is free money. All you have to do is save a certain amount and your employer will match what you save.

I love retirement plans because you don’t even have to set up an investment account. Your employer does it for you. You don’t have to set up a transfer from your checking account to your investment account. Your employer just takes the money from your paycheck and transfers it for you. It’s almost too easy to be true.

Take 50% of any raise you get and save it.

If you do a good job at work you’ll get a raise. You can’t spend the entire raise you get. You have to take some of it and put it aside for retirement. If you don’t, you’ll just have to continue working way past the time you want.

If you want to have the ability to retire you’re going to have to save money. It’s likely that you’ll need to save more than you are. An easy way to start increasing your savings is to take 50% of any raise and put it away automatically.

Upgrade your skills at work.

This is one of my favorite things for you to do. If you want to make more money you need to be better at what you do. It’s up to you to upgrade your skills at work. When you do this you can demand more money in your paycheck. Now, you can really afford to save 50% of that extra money you’re going to make.

Be disciplined about saving.

Saving for retirement is not a sprint it’s a marathon. If you save on a consistent basis for a long time you’ll wake up one day and find you have a big pot of money waiting for you. You can use it as a safety net and decide to continue working or you might decide you’ve had enough and it’s time to move on to the next chapter in your life.

If you’re disciplined about saving you get to have choices in your life. If you’re not, then you know what’s waiting for you. What would you rather have?

We have a special report on transitioning into retirement. This report will help you consider many of the issues you’ll face as you get ready to move to the next stage in your life. To get this report, click on the button below.

Transition into retirement

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Topics: people in transition, retirement planning, 401 (k) plans, financial planning, wealth management, stage 3,, stage 2,

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