According to a survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, three in 10 workers report that preparing for retirement causes them emotional distress. Why? Well, because most people feel they are sorely behind when it comes to retirement savings.
The Economic Policy Institute reports that baby boomer families, on average, have just a little over $160,000 saved for retirement. With longer life spans, inflation, and increasing health care costs, it’s possible that many retirees won’t have enough to comfortably sustain their retirements.
If you feel behind with your retirement savings, you may be panicking. However, there’s hope for you. If you’re open to suggestions, a few smart moves will help you catch up on savings even late in the game. (See also: 7 Retirement Planning Steps Late Starters Must Make)
1. Change your mindset
One of the best ways to take the pressure off catching up with retirement savings is to change your mindset.
Rob Hill, owner of financial advisory firm R. Hill Enterprises, Inc., helps people plan for retirement and other stages of life. He says that in order to catch up with your savings, you need to first be more flexible with your idea of retirement. “The first thing I would suggest is not looking at retirement as an age, but rather a financial position,” he says.
Hill explains that focus can ease anxiety and make a catch-up goal more feasible for some. He explains, “The goal of retirement is not a pile of assets, it is cash flow that makes retirement possible.”
If you look at retirement in this light, you may discover you have more retirement runway than you thought and that building up your nest egg is a little more possible.
2. Make catch-up contributions
If you’re over 50 years old, you can contribute more than usual to your 401(k). For 2018, employees within the age guidelines can contribute $18,500 plus a catch-up contribution of $6,000, for a total of $24,500. This approach can be even more helpful if your employer offers a match.
Kevin Ward, of Park Elm Investment Advisors, notes another way to save: an IRA — either a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA. “Aside from your employer-sponsored plan, you can save $5,500 in an IRA,” he says. “For those over 50, there is an additional catch-up contribution of $1,000, for a total of $6,500.” (See also: 6 Ways Meeting the 2018 401(k) Contribution Limits Will Brighten Your Future)
3. Contribute to a health savings account (HSA)
Though HSAs were created as savings vehicles for health…