Living during your years of work costs money, but it also costs to maintain a decent lifestyle in retirement. Many workers expect their living expenses to drop significantly once their careers are over, but they do not realize that the most common expenses remain largely the same in retirement.

Of course, you can unload your mortgage payment and you will not have to go to work. But you will still need to maintain your home and pay property taxes, and you will need a means of transportation to get around town. Similarly, you will still need to eat, pay for health care (the cost of which will likely increase with age), pay utility bills, and ideally have enough money for luxury. modest like cable and basic recreation.

Older man looking at an article in a grocery store


That is why it is essential to save for retirement during your working years. Although Social Security helps cover your living expenses, your benefits will not allow you to pay for them yourself.

Unfortunately, many Americans do not do a remarkable job saving for the future. About 42% of US adults have less than $ 10,000 set aside for retirement and, according to a recent Gallup poll, 60% of workers said lack of money for retirement was a major financial concern. If your savings need a serious boost, here are some immediate steps to take.

1. Bet your raises

The advantage of getting an increase is that the extra money you receive in your paychecks will not be already allocated to existing expenses. So, all you need to do is avoid making new bills so you can send that extra money directly into your IRA or 401 (k). If you have access to this latter option, simply ask your employer to allocate this portion of your income to retirement so that it does not affect your current account. In this way, you will eliminate the temptation to spend this money for purposes other than retirement. ARIs do not always offer automatic transfers, but some do, so it's worthwhile to see if this option is available if you save in one.

2. Reduce your tax refund

Most tax filers get a refund every year. If the IRS gives you money, you can either pay an equivalent amount to your IRA or ask your employer to deduct the equivalent amount of your earnings for your 401 (k) and then pay you back.

3. Get a second job

Working in parallel is a great way to earn extra money for your golden years. If you opt for this path, you will be in good company. It is estimated that about 14% of workers under extra pressure use their extra income to contribute to a retirement plan. Therefore, if you do not have any increase or refund of taxes to be drawn, a second job is your next best bet.

4. Rethink your lifestyle

Many people struggle to save for retirement because their living expenses are monopolizing their income, leaving them almost no money at the end of each month. If this happens to you, it may be time to rethink your lifestyle and start reducing your expenses. So take a look at your budget (or create one if you do not already have one), see where most of your money is and find ways to reduce your expenses. This could mean having a major chance, like reducing the size of your home, or making small changes at a time, like canceling your fitness club membership and limiting your custom to order to take away all the three nights.

Let's be clear: your retirement will not be profitable, and it will not be as cheap as you think. Most workers are told that they will need 70% to 80% of their previous earnings to live comfortably during their senior years. If you want to avoid struggling financially later in life, strive for better savings.