Planning for retirement is a lot like maintaining a healthy lifestyle. A lot of people say they want to work out or go on a diet, but a shockingly low number of people actually go through with it.
According to a study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Compensation Survey for 2019, only 56 percent of employees participated in a workplace retirement plan in 2018. Also, 52 percent reported that they were behind their own savings goals for the future, 16 percent said that they were right where they needed to be and only 11 percent said they were ahead of where they planned to be.
Meanwhile, a study from BankRate in October of 2019 showed that 20 percent of respondents didn’t know where their retirement plan stood.
Plan for a comfortable life after your working career ends
Planning for retirement doesn’t have to be a daunting experience. It’s common to think, “I don’t have the time or money,” “I’m too young or too old to start planning,” “I don’t know where to start” or “I’ll just save more next year.”
This is where planning can help to provide a clear path for your future. These thoughts stem from uncertainties of the true state of your personal finances, talking about uncomfortable topics and how to go about planning for retirement.
Unfortunately, we won’t see a reversal of the low retirement planning statistics until we find ways to overcome these thoughts that block future action. The following steps can be used to drive new behaviors — whether creating a healthy lifestyle or setting up an individual retirement account (IRA) with an annuity from F&G.
Three Steps for Success
- Set small monthly goals – Habits can be incredibly powerful. Simply setting a goal to save a small amount of money each month (maybe skip one latte a week), learning more about annuities or life insurance or meeting with a financial professional can reap rewards and provide some reassurance.
- Give yourself small rewards for completing your goals – Positive reinforcement can help keep you motivated. If you achieve your savings goal for a month, don’t be afraid to reward yourself by splurging on a new pair of shoes you want, or going out to dinner to celebrate. You achieved your goal, and you deserve a pat on the back! Naturally, be sure to not overspend.
- Create a positive picture of your future self – Most importantly, either write down or describe how you envision your retirement. Similar to how you set a goal when you begin a new diet or workout regimen, determine a long-term goal for retirement. When do you want to call it a career? Where would you like to live? How will you spend your time? Then, talk to a financial professional about how you can take the next steps to get there starting today.
Multiple studies show that a person with a positive vision of how they will live in the future is much more likely to save money today.
Put your running shoes on. Your financial fitness awaits.
Start planning for retirement with an F&G financial professional today.