4 retirement resolutions for younger workers just starting their careers


The new year is an excellent time for young professionals to start securing their financial future, including retirement and other long-term goals. Even for those just beginning their careers, implementing saving habits early can lead to significant savings over time. For instance, a 25-year-old earning $50,000 annually could amass over $1.1 million by age 67 with consistent monthly contributions of $400 to a retirement account, assuming a 6% rate of return. Even with just $200 monthly contributions, she could still save over half a million by 67 under the same conditions.

Factors like contribution amount, market volatility, and retirement age can influence the outcome. It's essential to adapt contribution levels based on changing circumstances and market performance. However, there are strategies that young individuals can utilize to prepare for retirement, including:

1. Maximize Employer Match: Aim to contribute at least up to the employer match in a retirement account, even if it's not possible initially. Prioritize increasing contributions to meet the match as soon as feasible and use SMART goals to make this objective reachable.

2. Automate Savings: Utilize payroll deduction for 401(k) savings and set up automatic transfers to other savings or investment accounts. Consider scheduling automatic contribution increases, possibly tied to work anniversaries or expected raises.

3. Understand Asset Allocation: Review retirement accounts' asset allocation regularly, especially for aggressive investments suited for younger individuals, and adjust as necessary due to market movements.

4. Open a Roth Account: Consider Roth accounts that use after-tax dollars, providing tax benefits for individuals in lower tax brackets. Familiarize yourself with the specific distribution rules and exceptions for Roth accounts.

By implementing these strategies, young professionals can take significant steps toward securing their financial future and retirement.  

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