If you want to enjoy a comfortable retirement devoid of financial worries, you'll need income outside of Social Security. And that's where your personal savings come in.
Of course, building a nest egg is no easy feat -- especially not these days seeing as how inflation is forcing so many people to spend more on essentials like food and housing. But if you want to grow your retirement savings once 2023 rolls around, here are some essential tips to employ.
1. Claim your full 401(k) match
Many companies that offer 401(k) plans also match worker contributions to some degree. It's important to not only understand what your matching program looks like, but also, to contribute enough funds to claim your match in full.
If you don't snag your complete employer match, you'll give up free money. But just as problematic is the fact that you'll lose out on the opportunity to grow that employer contribution into a larger sum.
So, let's say you have the potential to snag a $3,000 employer match in your 401(k) in 2023. If you score that payday and then invest it for 30 years at an average annual 8% return (which is a bit below the stock market's average), you'll turn it into a little more than $30,000. So all told, claiming even a single employer match in full one year could do a lot for your 401(k).
2. Know the rules for catch-up contributions
Once you turn 50, you're allowed to make catch-up contributions to a 401(k) or IRA. Now one myth you might hear is that these catch-ups are reserved for people who are behind on savings. Not so. You're eligible to make them once you turn 50 no matter what your 401(k) or IRA balance looks like.
Meanwhile, catch-up contributions for 401(k)s are rising in 2023. Right now, they're set at $6,500. Next year, they'll increase to $7,500. However, today's $1,000 IRA catch-up contribution limit won't be increasing in the new year.
3. Look beyond 401(k)s and IRAs
You may in the fortunate position of being able to max out your 401(k) or IRA. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't try to save more for retirement on top of that. And one plan you can look to in that regard is an HSA (health savings account).
Although HSAs are designed to help people cover healthcare costs, they're easy to use as a retirement savings tool. Healthcare is likely to be a large expense once your career wraps up, so having money in an HSA could make it so you don't have to tap your 401(k) or IRA as often.
Plus, once you turn 65, you can take withdrawals from an HSA for any purpose without penalty -- you don't have to limit yourself to healthcare-related expenses. So all told, funding an HSA is really a no-risk proposition because you'll have an opportunity to use that money no matter what.
A large nest egg could be your ticket to your dream retirement. Follow these tips to make 2023 the year you make a lot of nice progress savings-wise.
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