One of America’s most respected financial information publishers, the Dow Jones-backed Marketwatch recently ran a story which purported that by the age of 35, many Americans should be looking to save in the region of twice their annual salaries towards their retirement. Which, once calculated, suggested that contribution-based percentage of some 45%. The same publication, having spoken to a cross-section of readers within that demographic, were of the belief that many families were well on track towards achieving these long-term goals, including those who talked of monetary belt-tightening in other areas of their personal finances.

Understandably this news piece wasn’t met with universal acclaim or even acknowledgement, with some of those under-35s going as far to say the barometers of future retirement wealth were far off the actual mark for many to aspire to; citing the whole subject of retirement-planning as a significant struggle at this stage in their lives.

All this comes on the back of a recent survey into the savings habits of millennials conducted by Bank of America, whereby 2,000 pollsters were questioned as to how much they routinely squirreled away in either retirement or investment accounts. Representing a diverse range of backgrounds – including married couples and singletons – the research discovered that a large percentage had endured financial hardships in their pasts, taking into account student debt, family living costs and other emergencies that had arisen out of the blue. Meanwhile some respondents were homeowners, while others were still in the process of saving towards their first property; yet most spoke of having made individual sacrifices to help them get as far as they had down the road already.

Past sacrifices might even have resulted in approaching cash loan companies like Cash1Loans, who are on hand to lend financial assistance when you need it most, courtesy of their tailor-made agreements and repayment plan schedules created for those who are experiencing monetary problems in the here and now.

Retirement Plans Should be Akin to taking Baby Steps

This got us thinking about the best ways and means of saving towards a retirement plan, and whether or not you should wait until your 30s before you seriously start to think about it put into practice. It’s not hard to imagine that you’d need to free up quite a bit more of your monthly income towards a retirement pot, if you delayed doing so. Ideally setting the ball in motion once you begin earning is the best idea, however not everyone is fortunate enough to receive a salary generous enough to make that feasible. That said, if you can, you should, as if you don’t start shaping your retirement plan then nobody else will on your behalf. Plus, you don’t want to have to keep working beyond 65 to ensure a half-decent living, nor for that matter rely on either your children or the welfare system to financially support you.

Although there’s no definitive practices you can follow to all but guarantee a useful amount of money will be made available to your future self when the time comes, there are a number of different routes you can choose to venture down in the meantime; and while the spectre of old age remains a long way off. One of those would be to do everything within your power to get your current (financial) house in order, which will help form the bedrock of any longer term ideals.

From outstanding student and car loans through to mortgages and any other regular repayment plans, do as much as you can to clear these as quickly as you can from hereon in. But that’s not to say you should hold off putting anything towards a retirement plan until such time as you’re essentially debt free, as conversely that would be asking for trouble. It’s all down to compiling a forward-thinking and comprehensive debt repayment plan across the board, and running simultaneously with a dedicated retirement-focused one. The latter needn’t break the bank in terms of figures from the outset, just so long as it stands as a starting point on which to build slowly but surely.

Let your Boss Take Some of the Fiscal Burden or Opt for an All-enveloping IRA

It makes sense to let your current employer do some of the work for you when you’re discussing retirement plans. Most offer some sort of employee-driven incentive and can work in tandem with your own individual approach to putting money away, with most providing either a percentage of your salary or a separate retirement contribution as such. Alternatively you may prefer to rely entirely on an Individual Retirement Account, more especially if your employer doesn’t have the mechanism in place to contribute. After deciding which of the countless plans best suits your personal retirement needs (and more pressingly, your current every day, working needs), then you’ll need to complete the necessary set-ups via your bank, independent broker or private investment company.

If you don’t like (or for that matter, trust) the traditional bricks and mortar financial institutions, then perhaps consider using an app, as there’s a veritable smorgasbord of online tools designed solely for these purposes. Thanks to apps like Acorns and Motif, you can begin saving towards your retirement right now, and which affords you immediate access to – together with keeping you totally connected with – your personal wealth accumulation. Any of these aforementioned pointers will aid and abet the foundations being constructed for a more comfortable and prosperous retirement, which of course we all aim to realise sooner or later.