It’s no secret that saving for retirement is very important. We all would like to have the freedom to choose to stop working one day, even if you currently love your job.
Since retirement always seems like such a long way away, it’s easy to put it on the back burner and focus on other short-term financial goals instead. With retirement, however, timing is everything. It’s important to start early and set aside what you can when you can.
If you’re thinking about investing with a 401(k) plan, IRA, or with index funds your portfolio nest egg can really grow over time. Plus, there are others ways to fund your retirement if you’re looking for diversity.
Even if you can’t max out your retirement account each year don’t worry. There are plenty of creative ways to save more for retirement. Here are some of my favorite options.
1. Use Lump Sum Funds
Doesn’t it feel great to receive a nice windfall of unexpected cash? While you may quickly think to spend the money on something nice, consider saving it and putting it toward retirement instead.
This could mean saving tax refunds, bonuses, birthday money, an inheritance, commission, etc. If you weren’t expecting the money in the first place, you won’t miss it so just keep your expenses as it and save the excess.
2. Real Estate
Getting involved in the real estate market can be a great way to beef up your retirement funds. If you can obtain an extra property, you can rent it out for monthly income to supplement your living expenses during retired years.
Or you can pay your mortgage off early and reduce your expenses in the future. If you do manage to build a lot of equity in your home, you can even consider downsizing when you’re retired in order to stash more money away.
3. Generate Passive Income
Passive income is great for many reasons. For starters, you don’t have to actively work and trade time for money with passive income. That allows you to comfortably have multiple streams of income to diversify your finances.
Some of the best passive income ideas include writing books to sell for royalties, selling photos online, starting and monetizing a website, affiliate marketing, along with creating your own digital products.
You can even get into direct sales and work with a company that has a legal and moral multi-level marketing process to build some passive income.
My sister is actually doing this and loves it. She’s selling a health and wellness item to businesses and building a team under her to do the same. She’s passionate about the company, the product, and helping others so it’s a great fit and a solid passive income stream for her.
What if you could develop a passive stream of income and keep working at your day job? Use the extra income to fund your retirement long-term so when you’re ready to stop working, you’ll be secure and have options.
Freelancing is quite the opposite of passive income, but it still creates an extra stream of income that you can use for retirement. Plus, freelancing can pay well when you’re offering an on-demand service.
For example, you can probably earn hundreds to thousands each month as a freelance editor/proofreader, graphic designer, virtual assistant, or writer.
You can do work on the side use your earnings to boost your retirement fund. It’s tempting to spend extra money when you make it but consider setting up automatic savings transfers whenever you receive some freelance income.
5. Cash Back Programs
Cash back programs like Ebates, Swagbucks, and Ibotta are not going to make you rich, but they can help aid your retirement. What’s great is that these sites require very little time and effort on your part.
I use Ebates whenever I shop online to earn cash back and I use Ibotta for cash back when I make in-store purchases for regular household items.
I use Swagbucksall the time to earn rewards by searching online, watching videos, and answering surveys.
The rewards that you earn can be invested with help from spare change apps like Stash. Stash lets you start investing with as little as $5 for socially responsible causes that leave an impact on the world.
You can open a retirement account by just depositing $5 per week. Cash back programs and rewards apps can help you come up with the money.
6. Start a Side Business
This is one of my favorite ideas to help boost your retirement savings. Sure, people say starting a business is risky, but if you’re doing it on the side, most of the risk is eliminated and you don’t have much to lose.
Starting a business can allow you to have more control over your income and also give you creative freedom to do work you enjoy and are passionate about.
You can operate your business mostly online to save money on start-up costs and materials. Then funnel all the profit to your retirement savings account.
Your business doesn’t have to be super fancy or “official” either. One of my husband’s friends broke her foot last month and had to take an unpaid leave at work.
She was worried about how she was going to support her family and she unintentionally started a crafting business. She started designing T-shirts and posted some pictures of her wearing them online with no expectation. They were absolutely stunning and super creative.
As a result, lots of people ordered shirts from her for Mother’s Day and just everyday use. Since she received an overwhelming amount of orders, she expanded her services and started designing custom tote bags and small trinkets for Teacher’s Appreciation Week.
Again, customers ate up the products. I wouldn’t be surprised if her business expands from there. I’m sure happy customers will tell their friends and relatives which will provide more referrals.
Imagine what my husband’s friend could do when she starts working again and runs her creative business on the side? What if she chooses to put all the money into savings or a retirement fund?
As you can see, starting a business doesn’t have to be rocket science. It can help you fulfill a passion and even become financially independent one day.
What are you doing to prepare for retirement? Have you ever tried any of these creative ideas to boost your contributions?