It’s never too late or too early to start saving for retirement. Obviously the earlier you start, the more of a nest egg you’ll be able to grow and the more comfortable your retirement will likely be. If you have no idea how to go about increasing your retirement fund, there are many unexpected ways you can start saving.
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1. Open an IRA Account
Even if you have a 401(k) through your employer or if you work for the government and pay into their plan, you can still open an IRA, or an individual retirement account. A traditional IRA is just one more way to use pre-tax money to benefit your retirement goal, and the interest earnings on the account are tax-deferred as well if you leave them alone until you retire.
2. Catch-Up Contributions
Catch-up contributions are IRA or 401(k) contributions you can make if you’re 50 or older. When you are under 50, there are limits to what you can contribute to your retirement account. Once you hit that 50-year mark, that limit is raised so you can add more in pre-tax contributions toward your 401(k) and IRA ($6,000 and $1,000, respectively for 2015).
3. Delay Your Social Security Benefits
The longer you delay your Social Security benefits, the bigger your monthly benefit (up to a point). Although you can start receiving benefits at age 62, if you can wait until you hit 70 to collect, your monthly check will increase significantly.
4. Keep Your Car
Recent studies have shown that Americans are keeping their cars longer, at an average of a little over 11 years per car. If you can keep your car even longer than that, you’ll save a ton of money. Take care of your car so it lasts longer, and save the money you would have spent on a car payment by putting it into retirement savings.
5. Refinance Your Debt
If you’re still paying a mortgage or a car payment, consider refinancing. Check rates now and see how they compare to when you got your original loan. Also, consider if your credit or financial situation has changed drastically since then. By refinancing you can possibly save yourself thousands per year that can be stashed away to fund your future retirement.
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