t’s tax time! Around this time of year, we not only think about our taxes, but we also think about our overall financial health. This week we’re sharing financial resources as well asking experts in budgeting, student loans, and more how nonprofit employees can make the most of their paychecks. Be sure to read all of the posts in this series.
Retirement is a tough topic in the nonprofit sector (and for most workers across sectors). While many resources focus on how employers can get better at offering competitive benefits, more conversation is needed about how employees can prepare for the future when salaries might be low.
Below are a few articles and resources for employees to explore. As with all personal finance decisions, what you do depends on your unique circumstances. Have something to add? Include it in the comments.
Not sure where to begin?
If you’ve never given thought to how you might retire or where you should start, check out these resources.
- AARP Ready for Retirement Center is an interactive site with articles, financial tools, and more.
- Next Avenue, a project of PBS, recommends the rule of 11 when planning for your retirement: 11 times your final working salary, assuming you plan to retire at 65 and maintain your pre-retirement standard of living.
- Although written a few years ago, Blue Avocado has a three-part series that provides an overview of retirement options for nonprofit employees, including employer and non-employer supported retirement plans and what to do if you are about to retire and don’t have much saved.
What should you do if you have no money to retire?
If you are getting close to retirement age (or are already there) and are concerned that you don’t have enough to retire, you have some options.
- In addition to the piece by Blue Avocado mentioned above, Emily Guy Birkin on MoneyNing outlines five things you can when you’re over 50 and don’t have much saved for retirement, including downsizing and working longer if possible.
- The Social Security Administration has a tool to help you calculate how much you’ll collect monthly.
- Speaking of Social Security, US News shares how working in retirement affects your social security benefit.
- If you were unemployed for a while, Mark Miller of Retirement Revised offers some advice on how to rebuild your retirement fund.
- He also suggests we rethink retirement completely, noting how many people are continuing to work, learn, and connect with others.
The student loan vs. retirement debate
As student loans get bigger and as more adults over 50 take out loans to go back to school or finish school, the affect of student loans on retirement is increasingly becoming an issue. Here are a few tips to consider if you’re wrestling with student loans.
- The first step is knowing your repayment options. Yesterday, Heather Jarvis outlined three tips borrowers should explore when trying to figure out how to repay their student loans. Of note is the income-based repayment plan, as this can help older borrowers as well.
- Alexa von Tobel, founder of personal finance site LearnVest recommends that you pay off high-interest debt first, which may or may not include student loan debt. When you do tackle your student loans, author Zac Bissonnette suggests you tackle private student loans, which tend to have higher interest rates.
- Over at Money Under 30, David E. Weliver suggests you “save a little bit of an emergency fund, pay off student loans great than 7 percent, then focus on retirement and other savings goals while making minimum payments on the other student loans.”
- At Betterment, Alix Cody argues that, “the effects of compounding can be huge, so before we even think about student loan payments, we should put some money away for our golden years. And if you work at a company with 401(k) matching, you’ve got an even better reason to take advantage of the match and stash some money away.”
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