You’ve likely heard news reports and read articles about how it’s in your best interest to have at least $1 million saved for retirement. However, most people are having a tough time saving anything for retirement, let alone $1 million. According to a GOBankingRates survey, 34% of all adults in the U.S. have zero retirement savings. Roughly 15% of American workers have saved less than $5,000 in household retirement accounts, according to Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.
If you’re struggling to save, we have some good news for you. It is possible to build a substantial nest egg with just a few easy tweaks to your savings approach. Here are some of the easiest ways, in order of difficulty, for regular people to save $1 million for retirement.
8. Become an entrepreneur
One possible route toward reaching your goal of $1 million is to start a business. It could be something you start on the side to earn additional income. Or it could be a completely new start, where you leave your 9-to-5 and strike out on your own. The best part is you don’t even have to leave your home to start a business. With the help of technology, you can set up shop on your home computer.
7. Invent something
Another way regular folks just like you reach their $1 million goal is by inventing a product that fulfills a need or a want. One unusual example is Roni and Ken Di Lullo, creators of Doggles, which are sunglasses for dogs. They got the idea to create these glasses after noticing their fur baby was squinting during a game of Frisbee. Their concern and creativity paid off. Doggles had $3 million in sales in 2015.
6. Marry rich
If the above plans fail, marry a rich spouse. We’re just kidding (sort of). If you marry well, your retirement worries just might disappear. However, you’ll have to put in some work if you expect to marry a millionaire or billionaire. One woman told Daily Mail how she spent months getting a complete makeover, so she could catch the eye of a millionaire. In addition to looking good, you’ll also need to make sure you have a good educational background and impeccable social skills.
5. Draft a retirement plan
It’s hard to reach a goal when you don’t know where to start. Make an appointment with a certified financial planner. He or she can help you devise a plan that works with your specific financial situation. Your retirement won’t plan itself; you have to call in a professional, so you can identify and address financial blind spots. A good place to start is the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. You can find a planner near you when you use the online directory.
4. Rent out space in your home
Do you have spare living quarters in your home? Why not use this as an opportunity to make some money? Taking on a tenant is not only a great way to generate additional income but also pay down an existing mortgage. Also, if you have another home you use for vacations, consider renting out the entire home. Once you’ve paid off your mortgage, you can pad your retirement nest egg with the extra cash.
If you’re living in a city with a high cost of living, it’s going to be harder to reach your goal. A simple way to move toward your $1 million nest egg is to pack up your things and find a new city with a lower cost of living. NerdWallet has an excellent cost of living comparison calculator. Let’s say you currently live in New York City and earn an annual salary of $50,000. If you decide to move to Cincinnati, you’ll only need to earn $20,044 to have a similar standard of living.
2. Decrease your daily expenses
Discounts and freebies are everywhere if you know where to look. Make an effort to take control of your spending by looking at how much you spend each pay day. Start by keeping a log and tracking your spending for at least 30 days. This will help you see what you need to cut back or eliminate altogether. Wise money choices today will mean a comfortable future later on. Stop the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle now.
1. Start saving early
The easiest way to save $1 million for retirement is to start saving as early as possible. As soon as you get your first job, start socking away cash in your retirement nest egg. This way, you can have the power of compounding interest working in your favor. As a general rule of thumb, you should aim to have at least one time your salary saved by age 30, three times by age 40, seven times by age 55, and 10 times by age 67, according to Fidelity. Another great tool for determining how much you’ll need to save at each age is Money Chimp’s compound interest calculator.
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