I am a 26 year old married woman with 2 children, is it too early to start thinking about retirement? What can I do to start preparing?
Answers | 2
If you can automate your retirement savings, that's even better. Out of sight = out of mind. Put it on autopilot, so to speak. If your employer offers a matching 401(k) plan, take advantage of it and contribute the max of what they'll match. That's free money. It's like if you give me $1 and I give you back $2. I'd take that deal every day of the week and twice on Sunday!
If you'd like to speak about your individual situation, I'd be happy to help...
To prepare - as Michael said, be sure you are making the most of any potentially matched 401(k) deposits. Never walk away from that free money. The next step I'll suggest is to review your spending and write out your budget. It's a bit of a process as you need to look backwards to see where all your income has gone, and then forward, how to take a chunk (10%?) and send it off to retirement savings.
Your current position is important - (a) you have a sizable credit card bill at 18%+. In this case, you still go after the matched 401(k) deposits, but the most important second goal is getting rid of that debt, and understanding why it came to be. (b) no card debt, but no real savings. This is strictly a budget issue. If you made 10% less, you'd still survive, you just need to change some priorities, Use your budget to set those priorities, and start saving. (c) you actually save, but don't call it "retirement". This is great. Set aside an "emergency fund", about 6 months worth of expenses, and then kickstart your retirement savings!