5. Invest in the 401(k) – If you are lucky enough to find an employer that offers you a 401(k) match, you should be contributing as much as you can in order to get all of the matching funds. To not do this is like saying no to free money. This is also a tax saving move, so you really win all around.
6. Make Social Security the Last Resort – For each year after you turn 62, your social security benefit will increase at a rate of almost 8%, so long as you don’t touch it. Try and work, and then live off of your retirement savings for as long as possible in order to maximize what you get with your social security checks.
7. Use a Financial Planner – Savings accounts, even those that pay compound interest, are not giving you an optimal return on your investment. While you are still young, it is a good idea to aggressively invest what you have in savings in order to grow your money faster. As you near retirement age, take a more conservative approach, utilizing CDs and other savings accounts that offer little or no risk for your money.
8. Start Saving With Your Very First Paycheck – Even if it is just a $100 a month for the first few years, you need to be putting money aside the second you start earning if you want a nice sized nest egg for when you retire. To avoid using it later on big purchases, invest it or keep it deposited in an account that penalizes you for early withdrawals.
9. Expect the Unexpected – Illness, a loss of job, divorce or any other unplanned event can have a dramatic impact on your retirement savings. Use other tools, such as health insurance, wisely so that the unexpected does not interfere with your future goals.
The wonderful thing about nurses is our tendency to put the needs of others over our own. This is fine in regards to your work, but when it comes to retirement, you need to be more self-involved. Once those scrubs come off for good, you deserve the security of knowing that you have the resources to live out your retirement years in style. Start planning right now, and there should be plenty in your savings account to help you fulfill all of your retirement dreams.