Need to save more for retirement? Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you get started and stay on track:
• How much money you need? The number of years you have before retirement will help determine how much you will need to invest each month to reach your financial goal.
• Is your retirement savings goal realistic? Make sure that your savings goal is realistic. If your goal works out to 10 percent to 15 percent of your monthly income, it should be achievable. But you may need to cut expenses to free up savings.
• Are you saving enough from each paycheck for your own retirement? Try to treat your savings as your most important monthly bill. Write a check to savings first, or have your savings automatically deducted from your checking account or paycheck.
• Are you tracking your expenses? Another way to maximize savings is to track your expenses for a few months. This is a great way to spot unnecessary or wasteful spending; it doesn’t take much work to see potential cutbacks.
• Do you feel in control of your savings? When it comes to saving, think “control.” For example, control the use of your credit cards. The amount you pay each month in finance charges could go to savings instead. Also, control the use of your ATM card. Get in the habit of giving yourself a regular cash allowance, and try to live with it.
The key to having enough money for a comfortable retirement is to become a serious saver. Start saving early, commit to saving regularly and save as much as you can.