As the retiring age gradually continues to increase, many are stuck in fear that that won’t be able to retire at the age they always hoped for- or ever. For one, social security is expected to run out by 2034, yet surprisingly 33% of individuals don’t have a retirement savings plan. In today’s day and age it is important to focus on coming up with a financial plan that won’t rely on social security or working the rest of your life. By establishing goals, along with hard work, determination, and continuous financial education, you can be on your way to early retirement without a sweat.


Create an Account (or Multiple)

As soon as you start working, you should set up a savings account. However, when you are finished with school and take on a full-time job, it’s crucial to set up a 401k or Roth IRA savings account. Many companies offer 401ks with matching contributions. For example, if you put in 4% of your paycheck, the company will put in 4% as well. In this case, you’re gaining free money for retirement and you should take advantage of that. A Roth IRA is a great choice for those who work at companies who don’t offer retirement benefits. Depending on your current income, you can contribute an X amount of to the IRA per year, typically without it being taxed when it’s time to cash out. It’s also important to create emergency funding accounts and “fun accounts” so you can still save for retirement without feeling like you can’t live your life to the fullest.


Live Like You’re Broke

One of the most important things to do when saving for a retirement plan is to live a frugal life. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t spend money on vacations, treating yourself to the spa, or buying new things. Instead you should take the first step to a retirement plan by creating a budget. A budget will help you organize your incoming and outcoming sources of cash and allow you to contribute wherever needed in your expenses. By establishing financial goals and numbers, you’ll also be able to see where and how much money you need to contribute. This will also allow you to see whether you’re making enough money to cover your wants and needs, or if you need to find a way to make more by getting a second job, starting a business, or changing careers. The key to having money is being able to save it, not spend it.


Get out and Stay out of Debt

In order to retire, you’ll need to have a lot more money saved up than what you owe. When retirement strikes, your goal should be to have no debt. First, focus on paying off your short term debt such as credit cards and personal loans as they tend to have the highest interest rate. Stay out of debt by not using these cards (if your budget and living expenses allow for it) especially when you’re close to your retirement age. Next, focus on paying off your school loans. Finally, your mortgages should be paid off in full by the time you retire as this is your home. When your debts are paid off, you’ll be able to contribute your typical monthly payments to a spend account, or add more money to your retirement.

Victor Notaro is an accomplished Corporate Banking Executive with a demonstrated record of success leading consultative and relationship management strategies in the financial services industry. Victor Notaro is skilled at building and managing high performing teams of professionals in commercial and corporate banking, fostering relationships with middle market and multi-billion dollar companies. Victor Notaro’s record reveals exceptional performance in the development of business capital strategy, with expertise spanning start-up of business units, leading YOY revenue growth, and producing sales in the millions of dollars. Victor Notaro is the Senior Vice President, Corporate Banking / MidCorporate Banking at Citizens Financial Group. Please follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn to learn more!