It’s never too early to start thinking about saving for retirement

Stretching Your Dollar
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The number one way to have enough money to retire on is to start retirement planning as early as possible, but it's never too late. Most people put it off until well into their 30s. If you start at age 25, you can have quite the nest egg.

"It's fairly easy to do. If a couple starts at saving $15 a day, that translates to about 2.2 million dollars of money that you have available to create income at age 65," said Brian Singer, president and CEO of Singer Financial Group.

But even if you start planning for retirement later in life, it's important to make a plan. The numbers show that 48% of Americans don't have a plan to retire. That means they don't know how much money they'll need.

Here's a tip most people don't know about: If your company has a matching 401k plan, you can do more than just put pre-taxed dollars into it. You also ask your human resources department if you can put after-tax dollars into a Roth IRA.

"When you're contributing money into a 401k in the traditional sense, that's great, but when you also add in after-tax dollars inside an IRA, the contribution limit is much higher. Sometimes, it's up to $24,000, depending on your age. That's something a lot of people miss," said Singer.

If your company has a 401k matching plan, put as much as you can into it, but don't just dump money in and forget about it.

Try increasing money contributions the older you get and the higher your salary goes. Sometimes you can set up your 401k contributions to automatically increase over time, depending on the plan's flexibility.

"And I think a good way to get on task and on target with that is to get engaged with some kind of financial professional, somebody who can kind of mentor and coach you. You need a person who can say if you do these things today, here's what this can look like in the future," said Singer.

The final tip is to work at your job longer, if possible. Every extra year you stay on the job can add as much as three years to your retirement readiness. And as you think about retirement, just recognize, it's never too late to start planning for whatever your situation is. It's also important to have a plan to generate more income from what you saved.

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