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Saving and investing for retirement as soon as possible is a smart move, but regardless of how many years you have available before your projected retirement date, you may feel as though you are behind the curve. You could dramatically scale back your lifestyle to an uncomfortable level in order to find more money to save, but this may not be necessary. There are other creative ways to pad your retirement fund that may be much more comfortable to live with.

Increase Retirement Contributions with Income Raises

Unless you plan to retire very soon, you likely will receive several additional income raises from your employer before your projected retirement date. Rather than adjust your lifestyle upward with each raise, continue to live on the same amount of money. You can then save the additional income from your raises to bolster your retirement account balance.

Research Your Options Thoroughly

You might have the opportunity to take up a 401(k) at your place of work, and it would be smart to take advantage of it. If you don’t, there are plenty of other options to take advantage of from savings accounts, investments, and other ways to save money. For example, many people do not know that they are able to pursue special 401(k)s even when they are self-employed. You can set up a traditional solo 401(k) or a Roth one depending on whether you want to be taxed when you make the withdrawals. Retirement planning isn’t always easy but it is possible.

Take Advantage of Credit Card Rewards

Another wonderful idea is to use your credit cards intelligently. If you do not already have a credit card with a great rewards program, begin by finding one. Then, use the credit card to buy groceries, fuel for your car and other regular expenses. After each purchase, simply pay the balance on your account off. By doing so, you can avoid taking on debt and interest charges, and you can maximize rewards benefits. Some rewards programs give you cash back, and this is money that you can use for investment purposes.

Invest in Real Estate

If you have owned a home for more than a few years, you may have accumulated a sizable amount of equity in it. Some people may be trying to pay their home off as part of retirement preparations, but this is not always the most advisable idea. For example, through cash-out refinancing, you may be able to pull cash out of your home and use it for other investments. You may even have enough cash available to purchase an income-producing property. This is a great way to make the money work more efficiently for you. However, always analyze the situation carefully to ensure that you are making the most financially-savvy move.

Reinvest Dividends

If your investment portfolio is not currently set up to reinvest dividends, you are missing out on a great opportunity to maximize your investment’s return over the years. When you retire, you may decide that you want to live on your dividend income. However, now is the time to let your dividends purchase additional investments for more rapid growth.

Padding your retirement account balance before your projected retirement date arrives can seem challenging at first glance. However, you can now see that each of these wonderful ideas may be used effectively to help you achieve your goals.



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