What’s the #1 Retirement Saving Task based on Age Decade?
It seems like there are a million-and-one articles about “Top Retirement Savings Strategies.” But aren’t there different strategies for different ages? And aren’t there different strategies for different goals? Think of the retirement progression as one would think of building a house. Sure there are any number of universal bromides that could apply to all phases of building a house (e.g., “Always hit the nail straight on the head”). An experienced home builder, however, breaks down the process into distinct steps. Each step has its own series of best practices and optimal strategies. Only by focusing on these steps from the bottom up can the builder consistent construct homes of superior strength, durability, and functionality. How might one take the same approach with retirement?
In general, retirement planning is framed as only one of a panoply of financial objectives and goals. While this approach is sound for the veteran professional, it may not be in the best interest of the casual layman. It’s not that this full array isn’t the right idea, it’s just that it can easily overwhelm non-professionals. This leads to poor execution, and poor execution of anything – even the best idea – is never in the best interests of anyone.
Rather than the “big gulp” technique, folks might be better served by the “small bites” methodology. Here, we take each aspect of financial fitness (e.g., retirement saving, budgeting, cash flow control, debt management, etc…) and address it in series rather than parallel. The same tactic can then be employed within each individual aspect. Let’s do this now for one of those aspects: retirement saving.
Retirement saving can be summarized through three incessant mantras: 1) Save early; 2) Save often; and, 3) Save for the long-term. Again, there’s not wrong with these maxims. They suffer, however, from the same malady we mentioned earlier: they are highly dependent on successful execution. If you doubt how difficult “successful execution” is to achieve, consider the sturdy advice “eat right and exercise.” It would be hard to find anyone who disagrees with this directive. At the same time, it would be nearly just as difficult to find people who consistently and regularly successfully execute this simple instruction.
Similarly, saving for retirement is just as “easy.” That’s why so many well-intentioned individuals fail to successfully execute their retirement savings strategy. For this reason, it makes sense to break down the steps towards retirement into successive layers, each building upon one another. To make things as easy to understand for all, it’s best to have these layers represent one’s age, specifically, a particular decade of years.
To this end, FiduciaryNews.com interviewed dozens of financial professionals across America to get their ideas on the most important retirement saving tasks people should concentrate on from a decadal perspective. Many of these comments have been compiled into a series of articles, each addressing a singular decade of the retirement saver, bookended by the pre-adult decades and the retirement decades.
Have an interest in exploring the most appropriate goals and strategies for “The Retirement of Ages”? Click on any of these articles to discover more:
Christopher Carosa is a keynote speaker, journalist, and the author of 401(k) Fiduciary Solutions, Hey! What’s My Number? How to Improve the Odds You Will Retire in Comfort and several other books on innovative retirement solutions, practical business tips, and the history of the wonderful Western New York region. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Mr. Carosa is available for keynote speaking engagements, especially in venues located in the Northeast, MidAtantic and Midwestern regions of the United States and in the Toronto region of Canada.