Do you have less than $25,000 in your retirement account right now?
You’re far from alone, my friend. The fact is, 40% of Americans have less than $25,000 saved for retirement, according to a Northwestern Mutual study. That’s scary.
But, hey, we’re not here to lecture you or instill fear in you. We’re here to cheer you on and show you how to get back on track.
We’ve got six ways to boost your balance and sock away more savings for your golden years. Bonus: You can start doing most of these things today!
1. Spend $5 to Own a Piece of Amazon, Google or Other Companies
Take a look at the Forbes Richest People list, and you’ll notice almost all the billionaires have one thing in common — they own another company.
But if you work for a living and don’t happen to have millions of dollars lying around, that can sound totally out of reach.
That’s why a lot of people use the app Stash. It lets you be a part of something that’s normally exclusive to the richest of the rich — buying pieces of other companies for as little as $1. That’s right — you can invest in pieces of well-known companies, such as Amazon, Google or Apple, for as little as $1.
The best part? When these companies profit, so can you. Some companies even send you a check every quarter for your share of the profits, called dividends.
It takes two minutes to sign up, plus Stash will give you a $5 sign-up bonus once you deposit $5 into your account.
2. Secure Up to $1 Million in Life Insurance; Rates Start at Just $8/Month
Have you thought about how your family would manage without your income after you’re gone? How they’ll pay the bills? Send the kids through school? Now’s a good time to start planning for the future by looking into a term life insurance policy.
You’re probably thinking: I don’t have the time or money for that. But your application can take minutes — and you could leave your family up to $1 million with a company called Bestow.
Rates start at just $8 a month, and you can change or cancel your plan at any time. Plus, the peace of mind of knowing your family is taken care of is priceless.
If you’re under the age of 54 and want to get a fast life insurance quote without a medical exam or even getting up from the couch, get a free quote from Bestow.
3. Invest in Real Estate (Even if You’re Not a Millionaire)
The stock market can be a scary place. Stock prices shoot up and down like a roller coaster ride, and who knows when the whole thing might crash?
It would be nice to diversify and invest some of your money in real estate, but don’t you have to be wealthy to do that?
Now you can invest like the 1% does, and all you need to get started is $500. A company called DiversyFund will invest your money in commercial real estate — specifically, in apartment complexes that it owns — and you only need $500.
Real estate can potentially earn you more money than the stock market. Over the long term, investing in the stock market will earn you an average annual return of 7%, adjusted for inflation, according to a number of studies. DiversyFund can’t guarantee how its investments will perform in the future — no one can — but historically, it has earned an annual return of 17% to 18%.
So you don’t need a fortune to invest in real estate. All you need to get started is $500.
4. Ask This Website to Pay Your Credit Card Bills This Month
It’s hard to build your retirement savings if you’re losing money to credit card debt. And your credit card company is just getting rich by ripping you off with high interest rates. But a website called Fiona wants to help.
If you owe your credit card companies $100,000 or less, Fiona will match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every single one of your balances.
The benefit? You’ll be left with one bill to pay each month. And because personal loans have lower interest rates, you’ll get out of debt that much faster. Plus: No credit card payment this month.
Fiona won’t make you stand in line or call your bank, either. And if you’re worried you won’t qualify, it’s free to check online. It takes just two minutes, and it could help you pay off your debt years faster — allowing you to focus your efforts on your retirement savings.
5. Get Every Penny From Your Employer
If your employer offers a 401(k) plan as part of its benefits package, then you should absolutely, definitely take full advantage of your employer’s matching contribution.
“Take advantage of your full company match,” says Jeff Dixson, a financial adviser in Vancouver, Washington, who hosts a radio show called “The Retirement Coach.” “If they match 3%, contribute 3%. If they match 6%, try to get to 6%. That’s free money. There’s nowhere else you’re going to get free money.”
If you’re already at the full company match, consider increasing your contributions even more. Trying raising it by at least 1%.
If your employer doesn’t have a 401(k) package, or if you’re self-employed, you should strongly consider stashing retirement savings in a tax-free IRA. Contribute to it routinely and automatically, if you can.
6. Cancel Your Car Insurance
If you really want to get the best price on car insurance, experts say you should be shopping twice a year.
OK, we can hear you laughing from here. Who has time to do all that?
But seriously, insurance companies take a lot of factors into consideration, and they change all the time. Ipso facto — you’re paying too much.
Thankfully, a free website called The Zebra will do the shopping for you — in just two minutes.
All you have to do is enter basic information about your car and driving history, then The Zebra compares prices from more than 100 companies to find you the best price.
The Zebra says it saves its users up to $670 a year.
If you find a policy you like, you can sign up online instantly.
*Codetic is a Paid Affiliate/partner of Stash. This material is not intended as investment advice and is not meant to suggest that any securities are suitable investments for any particular investor. Investment advice is only provided to Stash customers.
**You’ll also bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the ETFs in your account, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash.