Personal Finance and Retirement Planning

To many who have just recently joined the workforce, retirement is a hazy term that doesn’t have much resonance with their daily lives. This is unfortunate, because now is precisely the time when one should be thinking about their retirement - or at least, planning for it. This doesn’t mean setting aside a pair of baggy shorts and looking for a Sunbelt condominium, of course, but think about it - that condo isn’t going to just drop from the sky some day, is it? By financially planning for one’s retirement at an early age, it’s much more likely that when the time comes, you’ll be able to enjoy it to the max.

Think about what retirement really means: not working and living off your savings. But where do these mysterious savings come from? The short answer is, from the money you’ve diligently squirreled away in retirement savings plans and wise investments over the years. That means starting now so that “from tiny acorns, mighty Oak trees will grow”. It’s not necessary to understand the mathematics of compound interest and how small contributions in your 20s can result in a considerable nest egg once you reach 65. The point is, it can and will happen if you set the wheels in motion now.

Even better, government and industry have provided helping hands that anyone can take advantage of. In the case of governments, we’re talking about tax deferment. As for industry, many companies offer to match, in whole or in part, an employee’s contributions to a registered retirement plan. Smart retirement planning demands that these generous offers be taken advantage of, and that simply means registering with a plan like a 401(k) or IRA, and asking questions of potential employers as to the types of benefits they provide.

So, you’re just out of college and have been hired by a company. Life is good - you’re receiving a regular paycheck and can afford to move into your own place, maybe even buy a car. The future looks bright, but the future will someday be the present. Count on it, plan for it, and then enjoy it!

 



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