FINANCIAL FOCUS – Put Lessons From “Retirement Week” to Work

To raise public awareness about the importance of saving for retirement, Congress has designated the third week of October as National Save for Retirement Week. What lessons can you learn from this event?

First of all, save early – and save often. Too many people put off saving for retirement until they are in their late 40s – and even their 50s. If you wait until you are in this age group, you can still do quite a bit to help build the resources you will need for retirement – but it will be more challenging than if you had begun saving and investing while you were in your 20s or early 30s. For one thing, if you delay saving for retirement, you may have to put away large sums of money each year to accumulate enough to support a comfortable retirement lifestyle. Plus, to achieve the growth you need, you might have to invest more aggressively than you’d like, which means taking on more risk. And even then, there are no guarantees of getting the returns you require.

On the other hand, if you start saving and investing when you are still in the early stages of your career, you can make smaller monthly contributions to your retirement accounts. And by putting time on your side, you’ll be able to take advantage of compounding – the ability to earn money on your principal and your earnings.

Here’s another lesson to be taken from National Save for Retirement Week: Maximize your opportunities to invest in the tax-advantaged retirement accounts available to you, such as an IRA and a 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan. If you have a 401(k)-type plan at work, contribute as much as you can afford every year, and increase your contributions whenever your salary goes up. At a minimum, put in enough to earn your employer’s matching contribution, if one is offered.

Apart from saving and investing early and contributing to your tax-advantaged retirement accounts, how else can you honor the spirit of National Save for Retirement Week? A key step you can take is to reduce the barriers to building your retirement savings. One such obstacle is debt. The larger your monthly debt payments, the less you will be able to invest each month. It’s not easy, of course, to keep your debt under control, but do the best you can.

One other barrier to accumulating retirement resources is the occasional large expense resulting from a major car repair, sizable medical bills or other things of that nature. If you constantly have to dip into your long-term investments to meet these costs, you’ll slow your progress toward your retirement goals. To help prevent this from happening, try to build an emergency fund big enough to cover three to six months’ worth of living expenses. Since you’ll need instant access to this money, you’ll want to keep it in a liquid, low-risk account.

So, there you have them: some suggestions on taking the lessons of National Save for Retirement Week to heart. By following these steps, you can go a long way toward turning your retirement dreams into reality.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

Marques Young
Edward Jones Investments
8001 Centerview Parkway, Suite 112
Cordova, TN 38018
Office: (901) 751-0634
Email: marques.young@edwardjones.com
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10 mistakes smart people never make twice

Come by June 10th and find out How to Conquer Email Marketing a Crash Course – Part 1. This is a small business series.

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Everybody makes mistakes — that’s a given — but we don’t always learn from them. Sometimes we make the same mistakes over and over again, fail to make any real progress, and can’t figure out why.

“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.” — Bruce Lee

When we make mistakes, it can be hard to admit them because doing so feels like an attack on our self-worth. This tendency poses a huge problem because new research proves something that common sense has told us for a very long time: fully acknowledging and embracing errors is the only way to avoid repeating them.

Yet many of us still struggle with this.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Who do you do business with?

People do business with people they know, like and trust. Why do you think that is?

I believe people do business with people they know, because they have seen the brand enough or that person enough they have developed some type of familiarity with the person and/or brand. We want to make sure we aren’t being screwed by a company and want to make sure we can get the best deal out there with the highest value. That is probably why sites like LivingSocial, ScoutMob and Groupon have done so well so fast. We have developed the familiarity with those brands, even though we may have never heard of the company actually selling the actual service.

I believe people do business with people they like because they have developed some type of trust in that person or brand. Why would you give the one thing you work all week for away to a company that you don’t believe provides the best value, service or product, to solutions you don’t event like? You wouldn’t nor should you.

Everything comes back to doing business with people you trust. We trust that when we get into our car it won’t fail, then feel disappointed when it does. Our level of trust in that specific brand drops down a notch. When it comes to solutions and services we can provide that will provide the greatest value with the most competitive cost and we do it consistently that helps you develop trust with your customers. Even if you want to be the highest price in the marketplace just make sure you provide the greatest value, know what your core market is and do it consistently.

Please comment below and let us know your thoughts.

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Jacqueline H. Waller is the Founder of Connecting Atlanta, a company that specializes in connecting business owners to products and services that will help grow their business. She is a popular radio host with her own podcast, called, Connecting Atlanta Radio where she interviews successful business owners who are making a positive impact in their communities. Ms. Waller’s expertise was attained by working for 12 years in marketing, sales and human resources. Her expertise is in Social Networking, Marketing, Business Development, and Sales. If you need any type of business connection she is the number one Power Broker in Atlanta, you can contact her through www.connectingatlanta.net