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Is it us, or does it seem like just a couple of weeks ago we were saying farewell to the daily work-and-school-grind and welcoming the warm, sunny days of summer? The year is flying by! Now the kids are headed back to school, and we can even see the dim outline of the holiday season on the horizon.
Around here, we’ve found that people treat this time of year as a sort of second new year. They’re revisiting the goals they made in January and refocusing their efforts to reach those goals before the year is up.
Take the Investing Challenge for instance. It’s not unusual for someone to be gung-ho about investing an extra $300 a month toward retirement for the first couple of months. But then life happens. An unexpected budget blow-out means they have to divert their Investing Challenge dollars to fill the gaps—just this once.
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There are a million reasons why the Investing Challenge may not have been smooth sailing for you right from the get-go. And we get it! It happens to the best of us. But that’s no reason to give up! Adjust your budget, adjust your priorities, and recommit to your Investing Challenge goal!
From I Wish I Could to I’m So Glad I Did!
Need some inspiration to keep you motivated? Keep these three things in mind:
1. Most folks these days are worried they will never have enough money saved to afford a comfortable retirement. By taking on the Investing Challenge for just 12 months, you could add as much as $100,000 to your nest egg.
2. Officially, the Investing Challenge lasts for one year. But during that year, you’ll build up your budgeting and saving muscles, and your additional retirement investing will become a habit for years to come. In just five years of investing an extra $300 a month, you could end up adding $260,000–435,000 to your nest egg!
3. Finding an extra $300 a month will take some sacrifice, but it doesn’t have to be painful. You can work your way up to your $300 goal by setting mini-goals—small steps that won’t squeeze your budget too much.
Set Your Investing Challenge Mini-Goals
The key to making your mini-goals work is to give yourself a time frame and clearly identify the steps you need to take to reach your goals. For example, if you want to be investing an extra $300 a month by January, that’s a specific goal with a workable time frame.
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You’ve got about five months to make it happen, so if you’re starting at zero, all you have to do is increase your retirement investing budget by just $15 a week. Round that up to $20 a week, and you’ll reach your goal one month early!
Now write your goal down (written goals are more powerful) and follow through!
You’re on the Hook—in a Good Way
Another way to stay laser-focused on your retirement goals is to work with someone who will hold you accountable for sticking to your plan. Your spouse or a friend who knows a thing or two about finances is a good choice.
An experienced investing advisor can also help hold your feet to the fire when you feel like slacking. Not only that, an advisor will help you make sure you’re on track to meet your long-term retirement goals, show you how to choose good mutual funds to invest in, and give you level-headed advice when market ups and downs push you into a panic.
If you’re not already working with an investing advisor you trust, we can put you in touch with one Dave recommends in your area today.