How to Save 15% for Retirement Without Cramping Your Style

How to Save 15% for Retirement Without Cramping Your Style

A recent report shows yet again how unprepared Americans are for retirement. According to the study by the National Institute on Retirement Security, the average working household has no nest egg at all. Even more alarming is the fact that the median amount saved by near-retirement families is a mere $14,500. That sounds pretty hopeless, but it could be easier than you think to turn that trend on its ear. By investing $300 a month—about 7% of the average income—and keeping it up for just five years, you could retire with $260,000–435,000 in your nest egg in 30 years. That may not provide a four-star retirement, but at least it’s a start! That means with a little planning and a more-than-average dose of motivation, nearly everyone can retire with at least enough money to cover their bills. Save Without the Sacrifice Don’t get confused. We’re not saying you should invest $300 a month for the next five years and call it a day. To get the kind of retirement we all dream of, you need to consistently put away 15% of your income. But for right now, let’s just focus on that first $300. Where can you find $300 a month in your budget to get started on your nest egg? Your first thought might be to slash your restaurant or entertainment budget or to get a second job. Obviously, if you’re overspending in those categories, cutting back is a wise choice. And extra income from a side job makes reaching any financial goal much easier. But you may not have to completely sacrifice your time and your small luxuries. Here...