It’s never too late to start saving
Written by Trevor Keidan on May 14, 2018.
I’m not going to lie to you. If you’ve been putting off saving for retirement and have reached your forties or fifties, your situation is not ideal. The nature of compounding means that saving works best when you start early and leave plenty of time for it to perform its magic. If you’re in your fifth or sixth decade, time is no longer on your side.
However, I talked about Jay Shetty’s motivational video about creating your own timeline in my last blog post and it seems just as relevant to this one. The fact is that not all of us do everything in the same order and we all have to work to our own schedules.
Here at Infinity we know that not everyone manages to get their act together to start saving in their twenties and thirties. Sometimes that is because they have been burying their heads in the sand believing that retirement is too far off to worry about but other times personal circumstances have simply made it difficult to save for retirement with too many other financial responsibilities and not enough left over every month to start a pension fund.
But often in the mid-forties the penny-drop moment happens. We see our parents getting old and suddenly realise that we are next in line. It becomes clear that however capable we feel now there will almost certainly come a time when we are no longer physically and mentally capable of earning. And yet for those who have no savings to speak of, retiring can seem like a financial impossibility.
If that is you – firstly, don’t panic. You face a difficult task but not an impossible one. Here’s what to do:
1. Seek professional advice
Without delay, make an appointment to see a qualified financial adviser to talk through your situation and your fears. They can assess your situation and help you create some realistic financial goals to work towards.
2. Start saving
Saving will need to become a priority in your life. That might mean making some sacrifices elsewhere. If you’re not sure where to start, check out my post on 30 ways to free up cash to save.
3. Automate savings
Set up an automatic transfer from the account your pay comes into to a savings account every month as soon as you get paid. Even if the amount is small, it is better than nothing and you can increase it as you start to take control of your financial situation. If you don’t see the money in your current account, you won’t be tempted to spend it.
4. Use technology
There are a whole host of useful apps to help you with managing your finances from free budgeting apps such as Mint or Check, which track all your bank accounts and credit cards in one place, to apps such as Digit which sync with your bank accounts monitoring cash flow and making automatic transfers of amounts of money into a savings account when it thinks you can afford it. Other apps can help you reduce expenditure, for example by alerting you to deals on products you buy regularly or telling you where you can buy the cheapest petrol. Do some online research and find some apps which work for you.
5. Be savvy with your savings
Bank interest is low. Once you start to accumulate a decent pot of cash, look to invest it in vehicles which will make your savings work harder for you. Your financial advisers should be able to recommend options suitable for your situation, in particular taking into account that your time horizon is relatively short.
All is not lost for late savers but you will need to get serious, stop procrastinating and be proactive. While you may still need to watch the pennies in retirement, with some dedicated saving it is still possible for you to achieve a comfortable life. But the time to act is NOW! If you'd like help getting started, get in touch with me today at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a meeting.