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Saving for Retirement at Each Stage of Life

September 23, 2013

No matter how old you are, saving for retirement should be a top priority. While knowing how much you will need to live a comfortable retirement and saving to reach that goal is the key, here are some quick tips for saving for retirement during each stage of life.

If You Are A Saver In Your 20’s


  • Save at Your Workplace – Starting early is one of the best ways to save for retirement. You have many years to weather short-term market fluctuations and to gain the maximum benefit from the power of compounding.  Don’t have a workplace savings account? The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a great option for federal government employees because they earn a matching contribution from the federal government.



If You Are A Saver
In Your 30’s


  • As you advance in rank and your pay grade increases, consider gradually increasing the percentage you contribute toward your retirement.

  • Consider expanding your retirement portfolio to include at work or outside of work savings options.



If You Are A Saver In Your 40’s


  • Create a spending plan to manage expenses and calculate how much you will need to save for retirement. Saving for retirement should be a priority.



  • Pay off as much debt as possible.



  • Consider increasing retirement contributions.

  • Address any life changes that could impact your retirement plan.



If You Are A Saver In Your 50’s or above


  • Continue to work and save – at age 50, you can make "catch-up contributions" — an extra amount, beyond the normal limits, which you can make to tax-deferred retirement plans.

  • Review your accounts to learn when and how you can withdraw money from your accounts, and make sure you are on target with your savings to last your through retirement.


  • Estimate how much you will receive from Social Security and determine the age you should apply for Social Security benefits.

  • Find ways to reduce your spending so that you can live within your means during retirement.



  • Waiting a few years can add up to greater payouts from Social Security. Decide when you should start receiving social security benefits.


Need help finding ways to save? Take the Military Saves pledge to make a commitment to yourself to save and receive emails and/or text messages to keep you motivated.

By James Lander, Military Saves Director
Military Saves
, a component of America Saves and a partner in the Department of Defense’s Financial Readiness Campaign, is a research-based social marketing campaign to motivate, support, and encourage military families to save money and build wealth. For more information please visit www.militarysaves.org.


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