To say that a third party can make or break your chances of a comfortable retirement is exaggerating. But there are plenty of people who can significantly influence the success of your retirement strategy. Here are six people that you should get to know to see whether he or she is helping you reach your retirement goals.
Plan administrator. Your 401(k) plan administrator is probably more powerful than most people think. He or she has the ability to change or at least have influence over the firm that administers your 401(k). Your plan administrator can decide on the investment choices in your 401(k), select (or fail choose) lower cost investment alternatives, and set up more company workshops on investment basics. And if anyone can make suggestions to management about shortening the vesting schedule or increasing the company match, it's the plan administrator.
Upper management. Getting a raise has the potential to propel you along the path to prosperity. Your boss can also make choices about the 401(k) plan and perks such as gym memberships, bonuses, or housing allowances that may not be offered to everybody. While the benefits themselves may not directly inflate your nest egg, they can mean you will have a much easier time trying to save money. Whenever you get a chance, ask for extra perks that are important to you and negotiate.
Your social circle. Just as peer influence can compel you to pick up bad habits, it can also help motivate you to achieve more. When your friends are savers, it's much easier for you to save a bit more too. If saving for retirement is important to you, find like-minded individuals who can share advice and lend support as your strive to reach your goals. When you develop frugal friendships you can both use coupons on your outings together.
Parents. Some people will inherit enough wealth to eliminate their retirement worries. But perhaps more important than how much money your parents are leaving you is how well they teach you to manage your personal finances. But it’s not too late if your parents didn't spend too much time teaching you personal finance 101. Don't forget that your parents still influence your decisions now and well into the future. Having a heart to heart talk with your parents about the things they did right and wrong when planning their retirement can help you make your own retirement plans.
Spouse. You will have a very tough time achieving your retirement goals if your spouse isn’t supportive of your plan. Talk to your significant other about your intentions for retirement. Being on the same page can make a world of difference. Then you can work together on the common goal of a comfortable retirement.
You. You are ultimately responsible for your own retirement plan. It is up to you to decide to live more simply, not only because it leaves you more money to put away for retirement, but also because it makes you happier. Try not to derail your own investment strategy by making emotional stock trades or undermine your own saving by taking early retirement account withdrawals. No one else can motive you to prepare for retirement. Your retirement is in your own hands. With some effort, your best years will be ahead of you.
David Ning runs MoneyNing, a personal finance site aimed at helping others change their habits for a better financial future. He suggests that everyone to sign up for an online savings account to get more out of our hard earned money.