I am increasingly surprised by the number of people who haven’t been planning for retirement. As I have conversations with people that are approaching retirement age, many are not prepared financially. They are stuck; they don’t have sufficient income to live after retiring from their jobs. In some cases, it’s too late. They’ll just need to try to keep working and trust God that they’ll stay healthy. Others who still have some time can make limited progress.
The secret is to start planning for your retirement in your 20s. Save 10% of your income, never spend it, and invest it to let it work for you. If you do that consistently, you’ll never lack for retirement savings. The longer you wait to start though, the harder it is to catch up. At some point, you may not be able to catch up.
So here’s my free financial planning advice: live on less than you make. First, give to God. (From my world view, that’s a 10% tithe). Then pay your taxes. Then of the money that’s left, 10% goes into long-term savings, 70% is the money you live on, and 20% is for debt removal (this does not include mortgage). If you have no debt, that 20% is your buffer.
The principal for long-term success is setting some aside little by little. See Proverbs 13:11: “Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.”
If you haven’t been setting aside regular long-term savings, start doing so immediately. If you’re over 35, see a financial planner immediately.