Working hard will get you far in this country — but, on its own, its rarely enough to retire. Plenty of hardworking Americans are short on their retirement savings, and plenty more can barely afford their own bills. Some of the problem is due to institutional issues and harsh financial realities, but other parts of it can be traced to poor decisions on the part of these individuals. The fact of the matter is this: If you want to enjoy financial security and a long and happy retirement, then you need to make sure that you’re doing more than just making money. You need to make sure you’re making the most of that money.
How can you do that? It’s not as difficult as you might think. Below, you’ll find crucial tips for maximizing your wealth. As you work hard and earn money over the years, be sure to think about these things, too.
Eliminate wasteful spending with a budget
No matter how wealthy you are, you need a budget. A budget (along with your own commitment to follow it) will ensure that your hard-earned money actually ends up where it belongs: with you!
So sit down and create a budget. Carve out space for the things that you absolutely must cover, like housing, groceries, and healthcare. Designate a chunk of money for savings — 10 percent is a common rule of thumb, but it doesn’t work for everyone and is best treated as an absolute minimum by those who can afford to do so. Finally, consider your discretionary spending. This is where you may be able to find things that you can eliminate or make more efficient, netting you even more cash to save in your financial accounts.
Focus on ways to generate interest and passive income
Working hard, earning a great salary, and saving 10 percent of your income like clockwork for decades is crucial. But, believe it or not, it won’t be enough for you to retire on — unless you make an incredible salary, and even then you will not be able to enjoy the same standard of living in retirement as you did during your working years.
The only way to craft a great retirement is to take your money and use it to make more money. Doing that, you can beat inflation and harness the power of compound interest to grow your wealth more quickly. Start with a simple diversified investment strategy, and put as much as you can into your tax-advantaged retirement accounts (401ks and IRAs). Later, you may choose to invest in a business, an income property, or another potential source of interest or passive income.
Work with a financial advisor
As you grow your wealth over time, you’ll have more and more money to consider. A simple buy-and-hold strategy with a diversified portfolio is fine, but it may not be your best option, and it is certainly not your only one. On top of this, you need to think about taxes and tax exemptions, real estate, and preparing your estate for your heirs (it’s never too early to start thinking about how to preserve your legacy).
You should do all of this with the help of experts, and the first type of expert that you should turn to is a financial advisor. Speaking with a financial advisor relatively early in your career can make a huge difference for you as you plan for a bright financial future and long retirement. A financial advisor can help you with investment management, retirement planning, debt and loans, and so much more.