Knowing the right moves to make—and those not to make—is only one aspect of a successful retirement plan. The trickiest part, as far as I'm concerned, is convincing yourself to follow through on everything you know you should do.
I soooo get how hard it is. There is nothing natural about making sacrifices today for a future benefit. Delayed gratification is not in our DNA.
That's where your mindset comes in. I want to share some of my core beliefs, in the hope they can motivate you to move toward what you deserve: a secure retirement.
1. Do What's Right, Rather Than What's Easy
Saying you will get serious about saving next year or the year after that is easy. Committing to saving today—and staying true to that goal—is a whole lot harder. But it's the right thing to do.
- Aim to stuff at least 10% of your salary ASAP into retirement accounts. Then make it a goal to get to 15% to build even more security.
- Let your employer help. If the company offers a matching contribution on your 401(k), always contribute enough to earn the max.
2. Money Has No Power on Its Own
It is through your decisions and actions that you give money its power. Make your money today work for your tomorrows.
- Never take a loan from a 401(k).
- Never cash out a 401(k)—even a small portion—when you leave a job.
3. True Financial Harmony Is Only Achieved When Your Pleasure in Saving Money Is Equal to Your Pleasure in Spending Money
Celebrate every 401(k) and IRA contribution as a gift you are giving your future self.
4. Always Ask Yourself Before Spending Money: Is This a Need or a Want?
Living within your needs but below your means can make it possible to save more for your future.
5. How You Talk About Wealth Influences How You Act
Fear, shame, and anger are the three internal obstacles to wealth. Change your language to say "I can ... I am ... I do ..."
- I can increase my savings rate.
- I am making sure I invest in the lowest-cost fund options.
- I do finally feel in control of my retirement planning.
6. With Faith, Integrity, and Courage, Anything Is Possible
No one will ever care about your money as much as you do. You have the power to achieve and control your destiny.
7. People First. Then Money. Then Things
Always, always, always maintain perspective on what matters most.
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