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Congratulations! The Investing Challenge is officially in its fourth month, and if you’ve stuck with us since January when we first encouraged you to start investing an additional $300 for retirement, then the hard part is behind you! It’s now a habit, and you deserve a pat on the back for making retirement savings a priority. It’s a decision you won’t regret.
Last month we asked you to send us your Investing Challenge success stories, and you didn’t disappoint us. You blew us away with your commitment to building your retirement savings—even when you doubted if you could afford it.
“It was a daunting task at first,” Derek B. admitted. “We focused on prioritizing what is important in our life and reducing expenses. It was a long journey, but it feels great to be able to see your net worth increase.”
Brodie B. from Montana used the challenge to begin investing again after he and his wife finally paid off their debt and saved up an emergency fund. They are now investing every month in a retirement account they opened years ago.
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“We haven’t contributed to this account for five years,” Brodie told us. “It’s such a relief to be back contributing to this again. Thanks for the challenge.”
Before You Decide Against the Challenge, Read This
If you still think the Investing Challenge is out of reach for you, take a lesson from Sheila B., who says small steps are the key.
“I began the $300 per month increase in increments over a three-month period,” she explained. “I’ve also met with my advisor, and we are putting together a big picture of all my assets and what that will look like for retirement.”
Sheila said having a clear goal in mind and taking small steps to reach it give her confidence in her ability to retire, even though she got a late start on her savings.
“I have a plan now!” she said. “I can’t thank you enough for your lessons and for the motivation of this challenge.”
Encouragement From People Who’ve Been There
We also heard from some long-time investors who wanted to persuade anyone still sitting on the fence about retirement investing to just get started.
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“We decided to do the automatic monthly investing even though we had four kids and many other expenses,” Fred E. from Kentucky told us. “We started pretty small—less than $100 a month.
“Now, 27 years later, we are able to retire and be in a great financial position,” he added. “Anybody can do this if you make your mind up to do it.”
Start Investing the Right Way
So what are you waiting for? A recent study on retirement confidence shows that more than a third of workers have less than $1,000 saved for retirement. If that’s you, you need to accept the Investing Challenge and start building your retirement nest egg right away!
Here’s how to get started:
- First, you need to be out of debt and have an emergency fund of three to six months of expenses in the bank.
- Next, start investing in your employer’s retirement plan if it’s available. Invest enough to receive the full employer match. If you don’t get a match, open a Roth IRA.
- Continue increasing your contributions to your workplace retirement plan and/or your Roth IRA until you are investing a total of 15% of your income in these accounts.
Don’t feel like you have to do this alone. Newbies and experienced investors alike can benefit from the advice of an investing advisor. As Sheila B. pointed out, an advisor can help you understand where you are with your retirement savings and what you need to do now to have a comfortable retirement.
Want to find a trustworthy advisor with the heart of a teacher—not a salesperson? Dave’s team can recommend one in your area.