Get in the Saving Mindset

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Get in the Saving Mindset

Compound interest is a beautiful thing.

©­iStockphoto.com­/Stefan Klein

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Saving up for years just so you can make 70 to 90 percent of your old salary annually when you retire sounds like a mind-boggling idea. How can you save that much while you're still living your life before retirement? Fortunately­, there's compound interest -- small amounts of money contributed to a retirement savings account like a 401(k) or Roth IRA that can grow by leaps and bounds over the course of a few decades. Still, you have to plant a seed to grow a tree, and when it comes to saving for retirement, it can be difficult to have the discipline necessary to pay now in order to benefit later. This is where a savings mindset comes in.

Look at the budget you prepared as part of your plan. Is a significant portion of your monthly income being sent off to credit card companies? Then you need to become an attack dog, bent on aggressively paying off your credit card debt. One of the great ironies of saving well is that it often entails doing some serious spending, at least at the outset.

You should designate an amount of your pretax income to contribute to your retirement savings on a monthly or bi-weekly basis and have it taken out of your paycheck, just like your taxes. It's easiest to save money when you don't have it in your hands; you're effectively taking the decision of whether to save that money out of your control.

Take on the outlook that the money you save for retirement doesn't exist, except for in the future. In other words, stay out of your savings account.

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