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Your Retirement Resolution—Is it On Track?

With the year solidly under way, it's time to check in on your resolutions. Are you still prioritizing retirement?

Articles by Betterment Editors

By the Editorial Staff
Betterment Resource Center  |  Published: March 24, 2013

You can motivate yourself to save for retirement if you picture your future self.

Set up an automatic investment plan so that you're working toward your savings goals without even thinking about it.

It’s easy to look to the future at the beginning of the year when everyone else is doing it, too. Now that the year is settling into something of a slog, looking to the future doesn’t seem that important. After all, you are trying to focus on today.

Take a moment to consider your future. Are you on the right track? Are you saving enough to make a difference? Will you be able to live comfortably in retirement?

The fact that you had fun now will be poor consolation to your 60-year-old self, when s/he is unable to enjoy the perks of the “golden years.”

Studies show that you can motivate yourself to save for retirement if you picture your future self. Think about how you might look, and the kinds of things you want to do. Visualize your life and your health. Then, acknowledge the kind of money it will take to get there. With this picture of your future in your head, you might be more inclined to boost your retirement savings.

Make Retirement Savings Automatic

The best way to prioritize your retirement is to make your savings automatic. You might have started out the new year promising that you will add more to your retirement account, but have you done it yet? What’s holding you back?

Instead of waiting for a “someday” when you feel like you have enough money to boost your contributions, make your retirement savings automatic. Have money from your paycheck automatically contributed to a 401(k) or IRA. If an employer’s plan isn’t an option, open your own IRA. Anyone with earned income can open an IRA and contribute. Set up an automatic investment plan and let time do its magic.

Once you have automated your retirement savings, you will be able to stay on track without putting forth extra effort. You can check one resolution off your list, and look forward to a more prosperous future.

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