If retirement seems like it is sneaking up on you, here are a few tips to help you catch up on your savings goals. Let’s jump in:
1) Take Advantage of What Your Company Offers
Most companies these days offer some type of matching program with your 401(k). I call this “free money.” Meaning, as long as you are putting in enough to qualify for the matching program—you get free money from your employer. The only caveat is that you have to participate in order to reap the rewards of a matching program.
So, if you’re not participating in your 401(k) plan, make sure you are at least putting in enough to take advantage of your company’s matching program.
2) Max Out Your Annual Retirement Plan Contributions
Unfortunately, the IRS does put a cap on how much you can save within your 401(k) plan each year. However, the cap is still pretty high and will require making savings a top financial priority if you want to max out your contribution every year.
For 2017, the IRS contribution limit for 401(k) plans is $18,000. This is the limit on what you—the employee—can contribute. This figure does not include any matching or profit sharing that your company may provide in addition.
Also, the $18,000 cap is per individual. So, for married couples that means that they could potentially save up to $36,000 a year, if they are both working and have access to 401(k) plans.
3) Catch Up with “Catch Ups”
If you are 50 years old or older, the IRS allows for annual “catch up” contributions. For 2017 the catch up contribution is $6,000. If you are working on catching up with your retirement savings, you could potentially defer up to $24,000 into your 401(k) ($18,000 max deferral + $6,000 catch up).
Let’s not kid ourselves—saving at this level is not easy. But it may be necessary to reach your financial and retirement goals, especially if you find yourself playing catch up.