If you are just entering your 30's, or are in the middle of your 30's, you have a lot of time to make smart choices that will allow you to have a nice nest egg saved up when you retire. Pension plans offered through companies, which used to provide employees with generous retirement plans, are very rare these days, so you need to make sure that you are taking steps on your own to develop retirement pension plans.
Get Rid of Your Small Debts
If you want to really focus on your retirement savings, you need to get rid of your debt. In order to make the smartest financial moves, you don't want to be carrying around credit card debt. Focus first on eliminating your smallest source of credit card debt, then moving on to the next one. It is okay to use credit cards to earn miles and rewards if you really pay them off at the end of the month; however, don't get into the trap of carrying a balance. That balance can eat away at your money.
Getting rid of debt can help you get rid of stress and feel more free to focus on saving your money.
Invest in a 401(k)
If your job offers a 401(k) option, invest in it. Invest the maximum amount that you are able to contribute. If your job will match your investments up to a certain percentage, make sure that you are taking full advantage of this benefit. Extra money in your retirement fund is always worth it. A 401(k) is a great option because it allows you to reduce your taxable income right now, and thus possibly reduce your tax burden, putting more money in your pocket while saving for the future.
Invest in a Roth 401(k)
In addition to investing in a traditional 401(k), you should also invest in a Roth 401(k) savings account or a Roth IRA account. Both of these accounts also allow you to build up your retirement fund. However, with a Roth IRA, you are investing money that has already been taxed. That means that when you pull your money out of your Roth account during your retirement years, you will not have to pay taxes on that money. This can help increase the money that you use in your retirement.
Roll Over Your 401(k)
Few workers stay in the same jobs for their entire lives anymore. You will more than likely switch jobs multiple times throughout your career. If your 401(k) is attached to your job, you need to make sure that you keep track of all of your investments.
When you leave a job, don't leave your 401(k) behind. Instead, roll your 401(k) over into your new 401(k) plan offered at your new job. Don't withdraw the money from your 401(k); you'll end up losing thousands of dollars via early withdrawal penalty fees.