We’ve talked here before about participating in your employer retirement plan to maximize the employer match. This money is free to you, all you have to do is participate in the plan and make sure you contribute enough out of your paycheck to maximize the employer portion. If you don’t, your employer will not give you that money, a benefit of your job that you will be missing out on.

If you do have a job that an employer match is a benefit that you have access to, it’s a great way to pump up your retirement savings. However, not everyone has this option, or you may just need another way to increase your retirement savings and don’t know how you can afford to do so.

Last Friday, U.S. News – Money had a post, “How to Max out Your Retirement Plan Contributions” by Jeff Rose. He had some good information about how you might increase your retirement savings without feeling too much financial pain.

Rose also talks about maximizing any employer match you might receive, but he has a couple other ideas that might work for you as well:

“If you think that you can find $50 more a month to save for retirement, add that to your contributions. This should be a regular contribution that permanently raises the amount of your deposits. After a few months, when you are comfortable, look for another $50 or $100 a month that you can contribute to your retirement account. Step up your contributions regularly until you reach your goal of maxing out your retirement account each month.”

“If you end up with a raise, immediately appropriate a good portion of that raise to your retirement account contributions. Do this as quickly as possible in order to avoid the problems that can come with lifestyle inflation. Instead of getting used to spending more on things you don’t actually need, spend part of it on shoring up your retirement nest egg.”

Savings of any kind can be difficult to incorporate into your budget, and it’s difficult to stay consistent with it over a long period of time. But it is possible to do so without making any dramatic increases or stressing your budget too much. The extra dollars you are able to save for your retirement now can make a big difference to your future retirement income.


  • Disclaimer: The information on this blog is not meant for specific financial advice. The ideas/opinions stated are not suited for everyone, and readers should use their own judgment in applying them in their financial lives.