If you're relatively new to the workforce, retirement planning is probably not top-of-mind for you, especially if you are paying rent, managing student loan debt, and dealing with bills. With all of those competing needs, it can often feel impossible to find money to put aside for retirement.
You're not alone in this struggle to find balance. According to the National Institute on Retirement Security, "about 66% of people between the ages of 21 and 32 have absolutely nothing saved for retirement."
Our readers know that we believe strongly in the need to plan for retirement, but we also understand that putting aside money for the future can't always take priority, especially if you're just starting your professional career. However, you don't have to take an "all or nothing" approach to planning for your future. Just because you can't save as much as might be advised, doesn't mean you can't get started, even in small ways.
Here are some retirement planning tips for younger workers:
Take advantage of an employer-sponsored plan: This one is pretty straightforward. If your employer offers a 401 (k) or 403 (b) plan, enroll in it, especially if they offer any kind of matching incentive. Even if you can only put aside a small portion of your income, it will help and you will be able to take advantage of compounded interest.
Create a monthly budget: This is basic, but that doesn't make it easy! Budget planning is a skill that will help you throughout your entire life, but when you're first starting out, it can be especially useful. A budget will show you if there's more room for retirement savings that you think, and it can also highlight areas where you can cut back on excess spending.
Set some goals: Setting a goal is a great way to focus on the future and take steps in your present