If you are like me and so many other young Kenyans in their 20’s and 30’s, you have probably put off saving for retirement. After all, you still have a lot of time left to do all that. And while there are those worried about being prepared for retirement, they are still to go through with the solution.
Walk into a retirement workshop held by any insurance company and you will always encounter these two statements.
- I wish someone had told me about these in my 20’s
- I wish my son/daughter was here to hear your message
So if you are in your 20’s or 30’s, why not make 2013 the year you start making a difference in terms of your retirement, that way you can live your later years stress free?
It’s never too early to start saving for your retirement. But don’t try doing the following points all at one. You are more likely to succeed if you tackle one at a time, and before you know it, after a year you are on your way to financial freedom.
1. Cut on your expenditures
The No. 1 reason many young people give for not being able to save is because they spent all their paycheck. I know am guilty of this. Many are the times when I’ll spend my whole paycheck and then some. It is when you are young that you want to buy everything you need. You’ve got to have that beautiful sofa, the 32” screen, the surround system, a home or even the car.
Instead of this line of thought, why don’t you think about the financial freedom that saving today will afford you later in life? Spending all your paycheck today will only make you a slave to work for the rest of your life.
Learn to cut back on your expenses. Do you really have to go for that movie at Imax when you could rent one. Or is keeping up with the latest phone technology all that important when your current phone functions perfectly and is still relevant?
Don’t kill yourself saving for your child’s education hoping to take them to an overpriced school when a good public university can do. The only gift you will end up giving them is the gift of having you living with them after retirement.
Go through your expenses and I can assure you, there are a couple of things you can afford to go without.
2. Improve your health
It is the simple things you do while still young that will help prevent expensive and chronic illnesses at any age of your life. And unlike your savings, you will reap the benefits today instead of waiting for your retirement years.
Start by cutting off on fatty foods and instead replace them with fruits, vegetables and grains. And there is a bonus to this. Cutting down on meat will help you cut on the cost of food. The above foods are way cheaper compared to meat.
Most importantly do not ignore exercise. Park your car a few blocks away and walk to your office every day, take up biking, join a gym. Whatever you do, make sure you are not a couch potato.
3. Invest in your career
You are not going to save much for your retirement if your current job does not pay enough. If it appears like you are not making any progress in your line of work, find out ways you could advance yourself through training or education.
If your career is great and there is space for growth, find out ways you can make yourself more valuable and therefore get a salary increment. Offer to take up new responsibilities in your company or take up training offered by your employer.
If you feel like you are an asset to the company, maybe it’s time to ask for a raise. Invest the amount raised in your retirement.
4. Increase the amount saved
Increase the amount of money you save over time. If your company offers an auto-escalation option, take it. Saving a little more money now will not mean the end of life, it’s likely you won’t even miss the money and in the process learn how to spend less.
Whatever the case, ensure that you are saving enough money today for a better tomorrow. Starting to save today will take a huge load off your back in the future. The time is now!!