Planning For Retirement

As a college student, the thought of even saving up for retirement would be absurd. Between tuition, textbooks, room and board, campus fees, and food, you hardly have enough money to rub two pennies together- so to speak. Regardless as to whether you have money or not, you should be doing what you can to save up for retirement. Even if that means giving up those Frappuccinos you love buying every day.

“I have 45 years, at least! What the heck, man?”  you may be shouting in incredulity. I know, it sucks, but 45 years from now, you’ll be thanking yourself for it. To start off, U.S. News gives us six things we could be doing to begin saving:

  • Start saving young. Some day, you will retire; so if you start now, you’ll have more money when you finally do retire.
  • Make a plan to pay down debt. If you’re one of those people who doesn’t like listening to the advice of people with good sense, you most likely went ahead and pulled loans. Don’t worry, nobody’s judging you- nobody but me…just kidding. Calculate how much you can pay down each month based on your income and focus more on paying off the loans with the highest interest. You’ll want to pay the others off as well, but they don’t take as high of a priority.
  • An emergency fund is essential. Also known as a savings account.
  • Factor in Social Security. This one I don’t know so much about. I usually like to pretend that it doesn’t exist, that way I don’t have to rely on it.
  • Get a retirement account. This is also known as a 401k and is normally provided by employers. This is usually something that is only available to full-time employees, but if you’re eligible for it, use it.
  • Develop a habit of saving. This actually ties back in to item #1: start saving when you’re young. Every week, or whenever you get your paycheck, take a small fraction of it and put it into savings. Even if it’s just a few dollars, it adds up over time.