Nearly all Americans worry about their retirement. You are not alone if you worry about having enough money, retiring late than you would like, being able to handle your medical bills, and taking care of loved ones in their old age. But how do you decrease worrying?
At the Retirement Industry Trust Association (RITA), we understand contributing to your retirement savings can be difficult regardless of your age. It is hard to spend money on something in the future, especially if it seems far away. Many people get caught up in the present and procrastinate on saving for their retirement. One of the best ways to increase your retirement fund is through excess income. Whether you are just starting your retirement fund or trying to build on an existing fund, these ideas may help you contribute more money to your retirement savings.
Earn a Second Income.
When it comes to retirement, working more is probably not the first thing that comes to mind! However, a little extra work now may pay off in the future. These days, there are numerous ways to earn a second form of income. Evaluate your skills and schedule to determine if you can do something on the side to raise extra money. Popular “side hustles” include mowing yards, freelance work, selling handmade goods, delivering food, working for rideshare companies, and so on. You might also consider offering extra work hours to your primary employer. Any method you choose for earning extra income can help you feel more comfortable contributing to your retirement savings.
Sell Your Collections.
Many people have collections of items they started as a child or inherited from a relative. Selling collectibles can often result in a bundle of cash! Coin collections, toy collections, book collections, and many others can be worth a lot of money. Here is a list of collectibles that may be worth money today. Look over your old collections and see if a few items from the collection have become valuable. You may not even have to sell the entire group, especially if your pool has sentimental value. By selling collectible items, you might make a sizable contribution to your retirement savings without a large time investment or taking from other funds.
Look for Hidden Gems.
This idea can be a shot in the dark or a last resort to raise your contribution amount, but you never know what might be right under your nose! For example, a person once found a limited-edition Mattel Hot Wheels® toy car from his childhood and sold it on eBay for $1500. Based on that story alone, a quick look around your home might reveal an item or two that you would happily exchange for money. Look for authentic paintings or drawings, old toys, old games, original copies of books or comics, original technology from companies such as Nintendo Co. or Microsoft Corp., and more. Here is an article that gives examples of household items that could make you money! A simple thrift store trinket or a childhood memory could be your winning lottery ticket for extra retirement savings.
Research Better Interest Rates.
One way you could be losing easy money is by investing in the wrong type of savings accounts. You can research different savings products and financial institutions to see if there are better offers out there. Especially if you are a beginner in financial planning or looking to start your retirement fund, the account and company you chose could make a sizable difference over time. A simple change to a different type of savings account could mean hundreds of dollars a year towards your retirement. RITA has several companies offering great rates for retirement funds and savings accounts in our RITA membership directory.
Automatic subscription renewals are a classic mistake for hundreds of people. Losing track or forgetting about an old subscription is easy to do, but it could be costing you money each month without you noticing. If you look through your bank statement and find a subscription you no longer use or want, it is a good idea to cancel it and automatically transfer the amount to your retirement fund monthly. You have been losing this money every month without notice, so it will not break the bank when you switch to investing the same amount in your retirement fund instead.
There is no right or wrong way to invest in the future — any amount toward your retirement savings can make a difference over time. These ideas are simple ways to begin your retirement fund or raise your yearly contribution. Of course, if you feel comfortable, you can gradually increase your contributions without any of the above. An easy way to do so is to give a little more over a set period until you have reached the amount you want. If you have any questions about your retirement fund or the type of account you have chosen, please visit the RITA website for more retirement information.