Saving for retirement is getting harder and harder. Millennials have had a particularly difficult time of it – 66% have no retirement savings at all, and most in that cohort are reaching an age where they should. They’re facing higher debt loads from increasingly-necessary education and higher cost-of-living in metro areas that hog all of the best-paying jobs.
And those jobs are offering less and less in return. It’s not just wages that are stagnant, but retirement contributions, too. In the U.S. today, only 8% of companies offer a pension plan, and those that do are quickly running into demographic realities where they will have more pensioners than employees. Many companies found that with the invention of the 401(k) in 1978, it made far more sense to offer these plans than take on the financial risk of a pension plan.
But even 401(k) contributions have been shrinking. Saving for retirement can be even harder if your job has no 401(k) and one-third of workers in the private sector over the age of 22 have jobs that offer no company-sponsored retirement plan.
How can you save for retirement with all these factors against you? There are a few questions you need to answer:
- a) How can you set money aside?
The hardest part is setting aside money to invest in the first place. Don’t be afraid to start small. Set aside $10, $20, or $50 from each pay cheque. As you pay down debt and your income increases you can contribute more. Consider holding off on lifestyle changes after a raise – you can set more aside and catch up on lost time saving before you buy a new car.
- b) What can you do instead of a 401(k)?
The best answer to this is an IRA, a self-directed retirement plan that you contribute to yourself. A self-directed IRA gives you more freedom to choose what you invest in. There are more options, such as investing in gold and silver bullion, and you can work with a financial advisor on which investment options are right for you.
- c) What should you invest in?
Saving isn’t enough on its own. If you set your savings aside in a bank account that matched inflation for 40 years, you likely would not have enough to retire on. You need your money to grow, and there are two ways to do it.
The first is the conservative way. Bonds are one option, but with low interest rates and climbing inflation, they may not be ideal. You can buy gold as an inflation hedge. As a younger investor, you also have more time to be patient with gold. When you buy gold at low prices, you can make a fortune during bull markets that can see gold price rise astronomically. The best way to buy gold is in gold coins and gold bars. To save money, buy gold online and get what you want, whether that’s gold coins, gold bars, gold rounds, or other products like silver and platinum.
The second is the risky way. This is buying into stocks, mutual funds, and other securities. It’s risky because the stock market has a habit of losing half of its value in a matter of weeks. However, when it’s not collapsing, it has higher growth rates than alternatives like gold. The best way to save is usually to balance your portfolio between stocks, bonds, and investments like gold.
A balanced approach can help Millennials grow their wealth for their retirement. The hard part is saving enough to get started.