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NOVEMBER 2012 


PAGE 13


Feeling fearful about your retirement future? Boost savings today for a more secure retirement


BY LISA HUGHES-DANIEL quality of life down the road. I


Little increases make a big difference Take Max, a 32-year-old who earns $50,000 a year. He’s already saved $24,000 in his 401(k) account and socks away 5 percent of his salary each month.


At that savings rate, and assuming his 401(k) investments grow at an annual rate of seven percent (of course, actual investment growth isn’t guaranteed), Max could have $450,439 available at age 62, according to Bloomberg’s 401(k) Savings Calculator. Not bad, especially when his pay stayed the same for 30 years. But if he saves just one percent more of his salary every month—that’s $42— he could have $50,000 more in his 401(k) account at retirement.


Even better, if Max saves 10 percent of his salary, his retirement savings could total $706,082—or an additional $250,000 in his 401(k). That’s not a bad move, considering most of us are living longer than ever, and many future retirees will have to rely more heavily on personal savings for retirement income.


What you can do now


Want to jump start your own savings? It’s never too late. Try these three steps:


1. Take stock. How much are you putting aside now for your retirement, in an employer savings plan or IRA (individual retirement account)? Explore retirement savings calculators (try Bloomberg.com or Bankrate. com) to help estimate how much you may need to save and how your investments could grow.


s a “retirement savings check-up” anywhere on your to-do list? It probably should be—even if your retirement is decades away. That’s because even small actions today could have a big impact on your


2. Set a new goal. If your current savings amount isn’t enough, raise it—or make a plan to increase your savings rate in the near future, like when you or your spouse get an annual raise at work. Or invest in yourself and your future by giving your retirement a raise on your birthday. If you have a 401(k) account, be sure you’re capturing any matching contributions your employer may be making—it’s free money.


3. Keep tabs. Saving for retirement means investing for the long term, so don’t create unnecessary stress by tracking your money constantly. Just check in periodically—about once a year—to measure your progress and decide whether you can bump up your savings some more.


Your future self will thank you.


Lisa Hughes-Daniel writes on retirement benefits issues for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.


Convenient payment options Budget billing or automatic payment plans


When seasonal temperature changes cause your electric bill to rise, consider spreading those costs out over several months with Choctaw Electric’s budget billing program. Budget billing makes it easier to balance your energy spending. For added convenience, be sure to ask about our automatic payment plan. With this option, your bill payments are automatically withdrawn each month from your checking, savings or credit card account. Please call us today for complete details on all our payment options.


800-780-6486 • www.choctawelectriccoop.


CEC


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