Have Less Than $25K in Your Retirement Account? Make These 6 Moves
Do you have less than $25,000 in your retirement account right now?
You’re far from alone, my friend. The fact is, 40% of Americans have less than $25,000 saved for retirement, according to a Northwestern Mutual study. That’s scary.
But, hey, we’re not here to lecture you or instill fear in you. We’re here to cheer you on and show you how to get back on track.
We’ve got six ways to boost your balance and sock away more savings for your golden years. Bonus: You can start doing most of these things today!
1. Leave Your Family up to $1 Million in Life Insurance (For as Little as .83/Day)
Have you thought about how your family would manage without your income after you’re gone? How they’ll pay the bills? Send the kids through school? Even if you don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars saved for retirement, now’s a good time to start planning for the future by securing a life insurance policy.
You’re probably thinking: I don’t have the time or money for that. But your application shouldn’t take more than about five minutes —and you could leave your family up to $1 million in life insurance with PolicyGenius for as little as .83 a day.
You can change or cancel your plan at any time. Plus, the security of knowing your family is taken care of is priceless.
So, want to leave your family $1 million? It takes two minutes to get a free quote.
2. Ask This Website to Pay Your Credit Card Bills This Month
It’s hard to build your retirement savings if you’re losing money to credit card debt. And your credit card company is just getting rich by ripping you off with high interest rates. But a website called AmOne wants to help.
If you owe your credit card companies $50,000 or less, AmOne will match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every single one of your balances.
The benefit? You’ll be left with one bill to pay each month. And because personal loans have lower interest rates (AmOne rates start at 3.99% APR), you’ll get out of debt that much faster. Plus: No credit card payment this month.
AmOne won’t make you stand in line or call your bank, either. And if you’re worried you won’t qualify, it’s free to check online. It takes just two minutes, and it could help you pay off your debt years faster — allowing you to focus your efforts on your retirement savings.
3. Get up to $500 in Free Stock
If you feel like you don’t have enough money to start investing in your retirement, you’re not alone. But guess what? You really don’t need that much — and you can even get free stocks (worth up to $500!) if you know where to look.
Whether you’re got $5, $100 or $800 to spare, you can start investing with Robinhood.
Yeah, you’ve probably heard of Robinhood. Both investing beginners and pros love it because it doesn’t charge commission fees, and you can buy and sell stocks for free — no limits. Plus, it’s super easy to use.
What’s best? When you download the app and fund your account (it takes no more than a few minutes), Robinhood drops a share of free stock into your account. It’s random, though, so that stock could be worth anywhere from $5 to $500 — a nice boost to help you build your investments.
4. Get Every Penny From Your Employer
If your employer offers a 401(k) plan as part of its benefits package, then you should absolutely, definitely take full advantage of your employer’s matching contribution.
“Take advantage of your full company match,” says Jeff Dixson, a financial adviser in Vancouver, Washington, who hosts a radio show called “The Retirement Coach.” “If they match 3%, contribute 3%. If they match 6%, try to get to 6%. That’s free money. There’s nowhere else you’re going to get free money.”
If you’re already at the full company match, consider increasing your contributions even more. Trying raising it by at least 1%.
If your employer doesn’t have a 401(k) package, or if you’re self-employed, you should strongly consider stashing retirement savings in a tax-free IRA. Contribute to it routinely and automatically, if you can.
5. Add an Extra $1,200 To Your Retirement Account This Year From Your Couch
We could all use some extra money, but who actually has time for a full-blown side gig or a second — even third — job? We’re tired.
The good news is you can make extra money without even leaving your couch. All you need is your phone or computer. (The beverage of your choice is optional.)
A free rewards website called Swagbucks will pay you to take surveys. Yup. All you have to do is answer some questions about yourself, and you can get paid.
This might sound too good to be true, but we talked to one Swagbucks user in Pennsylvania, 52-year-old Carolinda Hendrickson, who earned $1,200 in a year. Not bad for something you can do from your couch.
It takes seconds to sign up, and you can even earn a $5 bonus.
6. Cancel Your Car Insurance
When you’re trying to save for retirement, you might feel like you have to cut every enjoyable thing out of your budget. But the truth is, one of the simplest — and most impactful — expenses you can cut is car insurance.
If you really want to get the best price on car insurance, experts say you should be shopping twice a year. OK, we can hear you laughing from here. Who has time to do all that?
But seriously, insurance companies take a lot of factors into consideration, and they change all the time. Ipso facto — you’re paying too much.
Thankfully, a free website called The Zebra will do the shopping for you — in just two minutes.
All you have to do is enter basic information about your car and driving history, then The Zebra compares prices from more than 100 companies to find you the best price.
The Zebra says it saves its users up to $670 a year.
If you find a policy you like, you can sign up online instantly.
Who’s laughing now?