Saving Strategies for Every Age

Saving Strategies_000076825001_Small   We all want to save more money, but doing it requires a plan. And, the best approach to saving depends on the stage of life you’re in because each phase has unique financial commitments. Although individual circumstances vary, these generation-specific suggestions will point you in the right direction.   Millennials (19-35)   Millennials, born between 1980 and 1996, are actually better than Gen Xers at money management, according to financial journalist Vera Gibbons. But, they tend to live in the moment and prefer instant gratification to long-term financial planning. And, because personal finance is not a core subject in school, they may not know much about how to manage money.  Try these strategies.
  • each payday, set aside money to “pay yourself first” and use it for an emergency fund
  • learn fine art of delaying gratification so you have the self control to say no to yourself
  • avoid paying rent, which can cost up to 30% of your income, by living at home
  • pay off student debt with an income-based loan repayment plan
  • use a budgeting tool so you know where your money is going
  • give yourself a weekly allowance to keep discretionary spending in check
  • make small, manageable reductions to your expenses which leaves more for savings
  • contribute to your employer’s retirement plan
  • manage your credit score as it affects your ability to obtain mortgage or other financing
  Gen Xers (36-50)   For Generation Xers, born between 1965 and 1979, have less time to build a nest-egg for retirement, so it’s imperative to contribute regularly to their retirement savings during these peak income earning years. Managing cash flow at this stage is particularly challenging. Consider these options.  
  • avoid buying more home than you can afford
  • using cash will make you think harder before letting it go
  • pay yourself first
  • entertain at home rather than going out
  • overestimate expenses and make small, manageable spending reductions
  • contribute to your employer’s retirement plan
  Baby Boomers (51-69)   Most Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, are in better financial shape than their  younger counterparts, but only 60 percent report having retirement savings and 93 percent are providing financial support to adult children. So, they face the dangerous combination of being under-saved and long-lived. Here are a few ideas to safeguard your future.  
  • delay retirement or return to work to generate income
  • explore the downsizing option and/or ways to leverage home equity
  • accelerate retirement savings and allocate investments properly
  • consider long-term care insurance
  • reduce expenditures and eliminate high cost items like transportation
  • plan to retire in, or move to, an area with lower expenses
  • adjust your standard of living
 

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