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Save More for Retirement with These 5 Tips

Even if you're juggling other financial goals, there are steps you can take to help you get back on track.

YOU’RE BUSY WITH YOUR CAREER, maybe buying a home, having kids, saving for college—even starting a business. It’s the stuff of life—and retirement often takes a back seat to all of those immediate financial priorities. Suddenly, you’re hitting your 40s or 50s, and you realize you’ve fallen behind on planning for your future.

So how can you catch up? Debra Greenberg, Director, Personal Retirement Strategy and Solutions at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, has the following suggestions—each of which can help you get closer to your retirement goals. “Don’t be discouraged,” Greenberg says. “Even seemingly small amounts can add up over the years, and taking action now increases the likelihood you’ll be better prepared to meet any unexpected challenges that come your way.”

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The first slide contains: (bold title) 5 Ways To Catch Up On Your Retirement Savings At Any Age  Description: Image detailing five ways to catch up on your retirement savings. Image is a box containing the title and an image.  Image: On the left of the first slide, there is an image of a three people running.
The second slide contains: The number one, (bold title) Max out contribute fully to tax-advantaged accounts  Description: Image slide detailing three columns listing the three types of retirement accounts to invest in for the tax benefits.   The first column contains:  (Bold title) 401(k), text below it reads, Be sure you’re getting your full company match, if one is offered, so that you’re not leaving money on the table. Don’t forget: an annual “catch-up” contribution of $6000 is allowed after age 50.  The second column contains:  (Bold title) Roth IRA or Traditional IRA, text below it reads, Want to save more? If you’re married and not working, you may be able to contribute $6000 to a spousal IRA. Additional $1000 contribution allowed after age 50.  The third column contains: (Bold title) Health Savings Account, text below it reads, If you have a high-deductible health plan, HSAs can be used for qualified medical expenses now, and after age 65 you may be able to pay Medicare premiums with tax-free distributions.
The third slide contains: The number two, (bold title) Pay Off Costly Debt  Description: Image slide detailing a tip on how to pay off debt  The second slide paragraph contains: (bold) Paying off high-interest credit card debt, text continues, should be a priority. Doing so will give you more money to direct toward your retirement. Says Greenberg, “A financial advisor can help you figure out how to manage competing financial needs while saving for retirement.
The fourth slide contains: The number three, (bold title) Work Longer  Description: Image slide detailing the benefits of working longer   The fourth slide’s first paragraph contains: (bold) If you work past age 65, text continues,—or  consult as you phase into retirement—
The fifth slide contains: The number four, (bold title) Downsize, (bold subheading) By downsizing or moving somewhere less expensive, you could reap the benefits of:   Description: Image slide detailing four columns listing the four different benefits of downsizing.   The first column contains:  (Bold) The equity, text below it reads, you might have accumulated in your home  The second column contains:  (Bold) Reduced living costs, text below it reads, (like transportation, housing, maintenance bills)  The third column contains: (Bold) A smaller mortgage—,text below it reads, or if you can buy a new place out-right, eliminating a mortgage completely  The fourth column contains: (Bold) A potential tax advantage, text below it reads, if you relocate to a town with lower property taxes—or to one of the seven states with no personal income tax
The sixth and final slide contains: The number five, (bold title) Invest For Growth  Description: Image slide detailing tips on how to invest for growth  The second slide paragraph contains: (bold) Many people tend to shift to more conservative, text continues, investments as they near retirement; others simply have a conservative investing bias. But today’s longer life expectancies mean that your money has to last longer and work harder. “Talk to an advisor about adjusting your asset allocation to pursue more growth, without losing sight of your risk tolerance,” Greenberg says.

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