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INVESTING IN RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS

There are a lot of things to consider when you are investing your money for retirement. Whether you have just joined the work force or have been working for several years, it's never too early or too late to start thinking about your retirement. Everyone should invest a percentage of their income or utility bill savings into a retirement fund, such as an IRA or a 401K to ensure that they have enough money to securely retire and not have to depend on an income until they are 100 years old.

Investing your Income into Retirement

When you join the work force your employer will generally donate a certain amount of your income into a 401 K or IRA account on your behalf. This will depend on the company that you work for and the terms laid out in your agreement. Many people will choose to add additional money each year to help with their retirement. Others will choose to invest more money into mutual funds or an individual retirement account.

When you are investing your money into any type of retirement account it is critical that you find the balance between 'now' and 'later.' While you want to be financially secure down the road, you don't want to sacrifice your life now to do so. On the other hand, you don't want to put all your money towards living in the now if this means you are going to be stuck and strapped for cash down the road.

Putting money into a retirement account is only one of the many different things you need to think about when it comes to your finances. On top of the standard rent, mortgage, car payments and daily living expenses, most people like to put a certain amount of money aside into a nest egg or rainy day account. Furthermore, if you have children you may also have term deposits or school fund accounts set up in your kids' name. You may also have a savings account dedicated to travel, a 'wedding day' account or even a 'convertible' account. Either way, you will want to put a little bit into each account as often as possible.

Preparing to Retire

If you are still renting an apartment or house then the last thing on your mind is probably your retirement. After all, first you need to buy your own house and put in a few solid years of work right? Any money you save is probably going into a nest egg for a down payment, not into a trust fund for your retirement. However, the sooner you start thinking about your retirement accounts, the more money you will have at the end.

Most people that retire have paid off any large debts, such as their house and their car. If you have not, however, then you need to think about these payments every month on top of your general living expenses. How much you need for retirement depends on your life plans down the road.

It can be hard to prepare this far in advance but you need to think about what you will need when you retire. Will you be happy to live in your home and take the occasional visit to see the grand kids or do you want to spend your retirement traveling, caravanning and doing other activities that cost a lot of money? Will you want to purchase a beach house somewhere or a condo in the city so you are closer to your children? If you plan on living the high life when you retire, then it's best to start investing in your retirement account now.

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