Federal employees enjoy a terrific, three-tiered retirement plan. In many cases, the retirement plan offered to government employees beats those offered in the private sector. But because of that implied security, you might not pay as much attention to your plans for the future. And if you don’t pay attention along the way, you could find that your plans for retirement have been derailed for one reason or another.
We want you to have the ability to retire on your own timeline, and enjoy a reasonable standard of living. But because many people wait too late to check up on their retirement plans, and find themselves disappointed with retirement or even unable to retire, you should take these steps now to make sure that you’re ready to retire when the time comes.
Step One: Set a budget. Do you know where every cent of your paycheck is going? You should! Not only could you be spending money that you should be using to set yourself up for retirement; you might also get yourself into the habit of living a lifestyle you won’t be able to afford later. Take the time to track all expenses for the next month or two, so you can cut out unnecessary spending and retake control of your budget.
Step Two: Pay down your debts. Many of us are spending several hundred dollars per month on credit card bills and other debts. Plan to retire only after you’ve paid off those bills, so that you have more room in your retirement budget. After following Step One to get your budget under control, now divert those extra funds to your debt.
Step Three: Save more for retirement. Once you’re out of debt and free of huge credit card payments, divert that extra money toward your Thrift Savings plan. Many federal employees forget to invest in this third leg of their overall retirement plan. Ramping up your own savings is one of the best ways to establish a comfortable lifestyle in retirement.
For more help with your retirement plan, call us to schedule an appointment. We can help you identify areas of your budget that need change, address your debt load, and make a plan to get caught up on retirement savings.