Guest Contributor: KristiLyn Wilkinson, M.S.
USU Extension Empowering Financial Wellness Program Manager
In honor of celebrating women and our financial health, I want to talk about one area of our budget that might be a little weaker than the rest, saving for retirement. It is so important but is something we often put aside thinking “I will deal with this later”. It doesn’t impact our immediate financial situation, so it can be easy to not give it the proper attention and strengthening that it needs. But what happens to our muscles if we don’t consistently use them? They aren’t in the healthy condition we need them to be in when we need to use them. You know what I am talking about…that time you suddenly decided to go on a five mile hike with friends, even though you regularly circle the parking lot waiting until the closest spot to the store becomes available so you don’t have to walk very far, and then lie in the fetal position for two days with legs on fire after said hike...
Yes, saving for retirement should be a part of your budget. Yes, you can think it is far enough away in the future that you don’t have to worry about it right now, but then one day when you suddenly decide that to retire a millionaire you need to be investing $80,000 a year….that kind of hurts.
You might be telling yourself, “hey, I’ve got this! I save for retirement.” I want to congratulate you if you are already doing this and provide some questions to help you start flexing those retirement muscles even more. Do you know how much you are investing every month- the dollar amount or percentage of your income you are putting towards retirement? Do you know how much of your income experts suggest you set aside so that you have enough money in retirement? Do you know the total amount you currently have invested for retirement? Have you calculated how much money you are going to need/want in retirement, or are you investing money every month and hoping it’s enough? Is the return you are making on your retirement investment greater than the rate of inflation? Are you overwhelmed by these questions because you don’t even know what some of them mean? Don’t worry! Stick with Utah Money Moms, we have your back!
Are you ready to tackle this? Put on your stretchy pants and tennis shoes! Your financial health and wellness are worth it! This is the first post in a three-part series! First, we are going to learn together about IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts)! I will be discussing what they are, two different types, how you set one up, and how to find money to contribute. In the words of Denise Austin, keep your heartrate up through the commercial, and I will be right back! Side note- I knew that sitting on the couch watching my mom workout with Denise Austin for 12 years of my life was going to come in handy some day!
Basically, Roth IRA’s are the bee’s knees- so you should have one, and be contributing to it, even if it’s only $10 a month! Stay tuned for Part 3 of 3 where we will talk about how to open an IRA and make contributions.
See you in Part 2 & Part 3!
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