This may seem painfully obvious, but let’s get one thing clear: If you don’t leave your retirement savings for retirement, well … you won’t be able to retire.
Life is full of surprises. When financial surprises come along, it can be tempting to turn to that big roll of money you won’t be needing for another couple decades. But don’t do it.
Follow these three concepts to keep your retirement strategy going strong:
- Start it up. It’s ok if current contributions are small, just make them now. Compound interest is magical, but it takes a long time to get the impact you want.
- Automate it. Make payroll deductions and automatic transfers part of your retirement strategy. If you don’t have to think about it and you never see it, you’re more likely to do it.
- Stay the course. Don’t let short-term thinking trip up long-term progress when it comes to retirement. Pulling retirement money out before retirement could sock you with taxes and penalties from the IRS. Get in and stay in.
It’s incredibly important to leave retirement savings alone. Reducing your principle severely compromises the power of compound interest. Do not wreck your chances of making work optional someday.