Saving for retirement, for a new home or even a designer bag takes determination, and patience. When I was in my early 20s I accrued a large amount of debt between student loans and credit cards. When my parents got divorced and my grandma was diagnosed with dementia, it seemed as though shopping was retail therapy for me. I made the minimum payment month after month, and year after year until I was determined to make a change.
Thankfully when I started working more (to the point of exhaustion!) I paid everything off, and I’m determined to never get into debt again. Once was more than enough for me! Like many of you, I’m now in saving mode. This time I’m saving for retirement and for that first home. I’m not going to lie, it’s a struggle! A few months ago my dog, Fred had to have two emergency surgeries when he developed bloat which was very expensive. Since I work for myself, I have monthly expenses, etc. I’ve learned the importance of having enough in my emergency fund just in case!
If you’re looking to save money for retirement, for that new home, or just interested in learning how to save for your emergency fund, you’re in luck. Doyle Williams EVP of Country Financial joined me for an interview to discuss how we can all set financial goals while saving for retirement.
Watch Candace Rose Anderson of the website Candie Anderson interview Doyle Williams of Country Financial! Doyle shared great tips on how millennials (those of us in our 20s and 30s) can set financial goals and save for retirement.
Why Money Smart Week Is So Important
Candie Anderson: Can you tell us about Money Smart Week? What’s it all about and why is it so important?
Doyle Williams: “Money Smart Week is April 21st through the 28th. It is part of financial literacy month, actually. It’s the industry’s way of providing financial education – money tips, basic helps for the American people.”
How To Manage Your Savings And Make A Financial Plan
Candie Anderson: What are some simple steps that Americans can take to better manage our savings and make a financial plan?
Doyle Williams: “I think it really starts with a budget. Do you have a plan? Track your expenses, understand where your money is going. I think most people are surprised when they do that and know where those dollars flow. It’s often the little things (not the big things) that surprise them and how they add up.
As you go through that process you’re likely going to find dollars that can be used to fund your emergency account. You have that emergency fund that will address those unexpected expenses – the medical bill that you weren’t planning on, the car break down, etc that often derail your retirement plan. Because you have that expense, then all of a sudden you’re looking for the dollars and then you stop contributing to your retirement plan or you raid those funds and it puts you behind.
Third – don’t be overwhelmed. Don’t be overwhelmed with the process. It’s not complicated. It doesn’t make it easy. Just get started and I think they’ll be surprised by the progress that they can make.”
How To Save For Your First Home AND Retirement
Candie Anderson: Do you have any financial tips for those who are looking to save for their first house or apartment AND save for retirement?
Doyle Williams: “That’s a big ask, right? You’re trying to do everything at the same time. My biggest tip there would be think about your choices. What are your priorities? Prioritize those. The good news when you’ve got all those things to save for is what’s important. You really have a tangible goal that will help you say no to those frivolous purchases that get in the way of planning.”
How To Set Financial Goals Despite Market Volatility
Candie Anderson: What are some helpful tips for diversifying assets, preparing for retirement, and developing longer term financial strategies despite the market volatility?
Doyle Williams: “The key there is where you’re at in your retirement planning journey. Someone that is close to retirement has a different risk profile than the 20-something just starting out. If they’re close to retirement, they’ve got a nest egg, they just don’t want to lose it right before retirement, so they’re probably going to be more conservative in their allocations between equities and bonds unlike that millennial, that 20-something that may not have as much saved but they have a whole lifetime in front of them to enjoy the compounding of returns. What we find in some of our surveys is often times that young person is also the most conservative, ironically because probably they’ve got such a small nest egg that they don’t want to lose it. Yet, the reality is they can be more aggressive because they have a long time in market and they can survive any market volatility over the course of their investment lifetime.”
How To Save For Retirement In Your Twenties and Thirties
Candie Anderson: How much should the 20-something or the 30-something be saving on a monthly basis?
Doyle Williams: “You’re not going to like my answer! It really depends again on your goals, but I think you’re asking the right question of should you be saving and thinking about those savings and making it a part of your regular routines – just like every other bill that you have. I’m contributing to my retirement each month, and that really highlights the importance of having that goal. What is your retirement goal, not so much what my return is this quarter or maybe this year because that’s going to be volatile. It is what is my long term goal, and I’m going to contribute to that long term goal over time, and everyone is going to have a different number.”
Why Some Choose To Retire After Age 70
Candie Anderson: Definitely. I was watching the news the other day and they mentioned that people are working well passed 70, so everybody’s goals are different.”
Doyle Williams: “I know some of those people working passed 70. Sometimes it’s not monetary! They just don’t want to be home, they like being out in public and that’s great. The other benefit is often times people that are doing that, it’s not because they have to but because they can delay that time when they’re drawing on those retirement accounts. They’re working a little bit and they’re just living on those dollars just letting their retirement accounts continue to compound.”
Doyle’s Number One Tip On Saving For Retirement
Candie Anderson: Do you have any additional tips or information that you’d like to share with us?
Doyle Williams: “My biggest tip is again, simple steps. Start today, it’s not complicated, just get going.”
How To Find More Information
Candie Anderson: Where can we go for more information?
Doyle Williams: “I encourage your viewers to go to CountryFinancial.com to learn more.”