The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local Business

April 7, 2014

Charo Boyd: Dust off your financial plan

Spring is officially here. Before you get started with your spring cleaning, perhaps another matter deserves some dusting off — that long-term financial plan.

April is National Financial Literacy Month — the perfect time to spring into action when it comes to planning your financial future. If you already have a plan, this is a great opportunity to take another look at it and make sure you’re still “on track” to reach your financial goals.

According to a 2013 survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, the past few years have seen a sharp decline in Americans’ confidence about their retirement savings. Only 13 percent of workers feel very confident about having enough for a comfortable retirement and 28 percent are not at all confident. More than half of workers have less than $25,000 in total savings and investments. Twenty-eight percent of workers have saved less than $1,000.

If you haven’t begun saving for retirement, now is a good time to start — no matter what your age. If retirement is near, you’ll want to jump into the fast lane right away. If you’re younger and retirement seems a lifetime away, it’s still in your best interest to begin saving now. Here’s how much the magic of compound interest will work to your advantage. For example, a 25-year old who begins saving $100 a month and earns a modest 5 percent interest will have more than $150,000 at age 65. Save $200 a month and you’re looking at more than $300,000. Experts agree that saving when you’re young will make a world of difference when the time comes to draw on your retirement savings.

Don’t just take our word for it. You can check out the numbers yourself. A great way to start figuring out how much you will need for retirement is to use Social Security’s online Retirement Estimator, which offers an instant and personalized estimate of your future Social Security retirement benefits based on your earnings record. Try it today at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.

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