In today’s economy, it’s far from a given that we’ll all be able to close up shop in our sixties and sit back and enjoy the good life. Let’s face it — we’ve all closed our eyes at some point and wondered if we’d be able to retire early enough to enjoy it.
But if you’re committed to saving enough to leave the 9-to-5 behind while you’re still young enough to travel cross-country in an RV or sip fine wine in Tuscany, there are plenty of ways to buckle down and work on your nest egg. Here are five of our favorite tips to get started:
Pay Your Mortgage Off More Quickly — with switching to Solar!
Many people don’t fully appreciate that the actual price of their home can change dramatically over the life of the mortgage depending on how quickly they pay it off. In fact, if two families buy identical houses, on the same street, for the same price, with the same down payment, one of them could end up paying tens of thousands of dollars more over the life of the mortgage, depending on how big of a monthly payment they’re able to make- and by that pay their mortgage off quicker!
One way to ratchet up your ability to make higher monthly payments is to look for ways to save on your monthly energy bill, and there’s possibly no better way to do that than by having solar panels installed on your roof.
American Solar offers the most attractive plan for fitting your home to go solar — the plan comes with a flat payment rate which means that once you completed the payment for your installation you won’t ever need to pay for solar energy ever again.
*In addition, homes that switch to solar can go up in value by about 4% so if and when you sell your home you’ll be able to put a higher price tag on it and earn more!
Make Extra Contributions to Your Employer’s Retirement Plan
If your employer offers a retirement plan (like a 401(k)), make sure you’re signed up for it and making the highest contribution possible. What people don’t realize is that, for tax reasons, employers often have more flexibility to spend money on your retirement than on your salary. That means that even if your boss can’t offer you a raise, they still might be able to help you save for the future. Also, automatic deductions make it easy to save and forget about it. With compound interest and tax deferrals, over time you could see a significant difference in the amount of money you’ll have when you call it quits.
Don’t Touch Your Retirement Savings
It may sound obvious, but your retirement savings are there for just that — retirement! It may be tempting to dip into those savings when you need to get a new car, send your kid to college, or remodel the bathrooms, but don’t touch your retirement account! Don’t run into unexpected expenses — consider, instead, opening a savings account that puts a little cash on the side every month for those “extra” things like a new car, a vacation, or paying for your daughter’s wedding.
Understand Your Social Security Rights
Social security is a major piece of the retirement puzzle for many Americans. Don’t wait till your 50s to understand how much Uncle Sam is putting away for you — ask the bookkeeper at work to show you how much is being put away by Social Security, or visit https://www.ssa.gov/ to see what benefits are waiting for you when you retire.
Talk to Your Bank About Opening a Savings IRA With Automatic Transfers
You’re allowed to put up to $6,000 a year into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA); If you’re 50 or older, you can contribute even more. But don’t wait until you have that kind of extra cash lying around — start today with whatever you can, even if it’s just a few bucks a month. The great thing about automatic monthly transfers is that after a month or two you’ll get used to your new lifestyle and won’t miss those few extra dollars, but down the line the savings will go a long way. Besides, IRAs come with great tax advantages that you absolutely don’t want to miss out on.
Setting yourself up to be able to retire comfortably is a process; the earlier in your career you start, the better off you’ll be. One step you can take right now to start putting more money away for tomorrow is to find out more about switching your home to solar energy.
Contact American Solar today to get your own personalized quote and more information!