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Do you have less than $25,000 in your retirement account right now?
You’re far from alone, my friend. The fact is, 40% of Americans have less than $25,000 saved for retirement, according to a Northwestern Mutual study. That’s scary.
But, hey, we’re not here to lecture you or instill fear in you. We’re here to cheer you on and show you how to get back on track.
We’ve got six ways to boost your balance and sock away more savings for your golden years. Bonus: You can start doing most of these things today!
1. Get Every Penny From Your Employer
If your employer offers a 401(k) plan as part of its benefits package, then you should absolutely, definitely take full advantage of your employer’s matching contribution.
“Take advantage of your full company match,” says Jeff Dixson, a financial adviser in Vancouver, Washington, who hosts a radio show called “The Retirement Coach.” “If they match 3%, contribute 3%. If they match 6%, try to get to 6%. That’s free money. There’s nowhere else you’re going to get free money.”
If you’re already at the full company match, consider increasing your contributions even more. Trying raising it by at least 1%.
If your employer doesn’t have a 401(k) package, or if you’re self-employed, you should strongly consider stashing retirement savings in a tax-free IRA. Contribute to it routinely and automatically, if you can.
2. Leave Your Family up to $1 Million in Life Insurance (For as Little as $5/Month)
Have you thought about how your family would manage without your income after you’re gone? How they’ll pay the bills? Send the kids through school? Even if you don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars saved for retirement, now’s a good time to start planning for the future by securing a life insurance policy.
You’re probably thinking: I don’t have the time or money for that. But your application shouldn’t take more than about five minutes —and you could leave your family up to $1 million in life insurance (for as little as $5/month) with Bestow.
You can change or cancel your plan at any time. Plus, the security of knowing your family is taken care of is priceless.
If you’re under the age of 54 and want to get a fast life insurance quote without a medical exam, pushy sales calls or even getting up from the couch, get a free quote from Bestow.
3. Ask This Website to Pay Your Credit Card Bills This Month
It’s hard to build your retirement savings if you’re losing money to credit card debt. And your credit card company is just getting rich by ripping you off with high interest rates. But a website called AmOne wants to help.
If you owe your credit card companies $50,000 or less, AmOne will match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every single one of your balances.
The benefit? You’ll be left with one bill to pay each month. And because personal loans have lower interest rates (AmOne rates start at 3.99% APR), you’ll get out of debt that much faster. Plus: No credit card payment this month.
AmOne won’t make you stand in line or call your bank, either. And if you’re worried you won’t qualify, it’s free to check online. It takes just two minutes, and it could help you pay off your debt years faster — allowing you to focus your efforts on your retirement savings.
4. Get Rid of Your Homeowner’s Insurance
For many homeowners, your insurance is wrapped into the monthly mortgage payment, so it might not be something you actively worry about. But, the truth is, you’re probably overpaying and that extra money would be better off in your retirement account.
A free website called Policygenius does all the work for you and will even try to unlock special discounts with the insurance carriers. It saves users an average of $690 a year — or $57.50 a month.
Heck, it’ll even help you cancel your current policy.
That’s potentially an extra $690 going into your retirement account every single year.
5. This Company Will Give You $100 for Opening a Free Account
How’s an extra $100 sound? For free? Seriously. We found a company that will give you $100 just for opening a new debit card. It’s called the Aspiration Spend and Save account.
Sure, a lot of debit cards offer sign-up bonuses throughout the year, but they often require you to jump through hoops with minimum requirements that feel impossible to hit.
But Aspiration makes it simple. To earn your $100, here’s all you need to do: Open your Aspiration Spend & Save Account by Feb. 29, 2020 and deposit at least $10. Then set up and receive three direct deposits of at least $500 each from your paycheck or government benefits by June 30, 2020. That’s it! Then just wait for your check.
Even better? Your account comes with a debit card that gets you up to 5% cash back on your debit purchases, plus you’ll earn up to 11 times the average interest on the money you set aside to save (the FDIC reports that the average account earns just .09%).It takes just five minutes to sign up and earn your bonus.
6. Buy a Piece of a Corporation for $5
Take a look at the Forbes Richest People list, and you’ll notice almost all the billionaires have one thing in common — they own another company.
But if you work for a living and just want to make sure you have enough to survive retirement, that can sound totally out of reach.
That’s why we like the app Stash. It lets you be a part of something that’s normally exclusive to the richest of the rich — buying pieces of other companies. But Stash you can start with as little as a $5 investment.
You can buy pieces of well-known companies, like McDonald’s, Apple, Tesla* and more.
The best part? When these companies profit, so can you.
It takes two minutes to sign up, plus Stash will give you a $5 sign-up bonus. (You just doubled your money!) Stash offers subscription plans starting at $1.00 a month.** As a reminder, investing involves risk.
You might not be in the next issue of Forbes, but this is a great way to get started.
Mike Brassfield (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He has money saved for retirement, but not enough.
*The Penny Hoarder is a Paid Affiliate/partner of Stash. This material is not intended as investment advice and is not meant to suggest that any securities are suitable investments for any particular investor. Investment advice is only provided to Stash customers.
**You’ll also bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the ETFs in your account, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash.
The Aspiration Spend & Save Account is a cash management account offered by Aspiration Financial, LLC, a broker-dealer registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). Aspiration Financial, LLC (Aspiration) provides brokerage services and securities products. Its affiliate company, Aspiration Fund Adviser, LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser, provides investment advisory services. Aspiration Fund Adviser, LLC and Aspiration Financial, LLC are subsidiaries of Aspiration Partners, Inc. Neither Aspiration Partners, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries is a bank. Aspiration pledges to donate 10% of our profits to charities.
1 – Customers will earn Cash Back on all debit card purchases. Customers may also earn additional Cash Back for purchases made at selected merchants. Cash Back percentages are subject to change at any time without notice. Cash Back will be credited to customer’s Aspiration Spend Account once on the first day of each calendar month. Aspiration reserves the right to reverse Cash Back transactions under certain circumstances and the right to terminate a customer’s Cash Back feature for any abuse of the feature. This Cash Back rewards program is subject to change by Aspiration at any time without notice. For more information, click here.