Never fear, millennials—a secure financial future is possible. Educate yourself now to increase your chances of achieving financial success and enjoying a comfortable retirement. Keep in mind the following money-related concepts to help you on your financial journey:

  1. Debt is conquerable. Yes, you read that right. It may be hard not to laugh at the idea of conquering your debt in the age of burdensome student loans and the ever-increasing cost of living, but you can do it. The first step is to develop a budget and a debt-reduction plan. Determine how much money you need each month for rent, utilities, auto loan payments and other fixed expenses, and then commit to allocating a set amount every month to reduce debt. After paying fixed expenses and making a debt-reduction payment, the remainder is available for non-fixed expenses, such as groceries and nights out. Stick to your budget and avoid racking up more debt. It’s called living within your means, and it’s the only way to conquer your debt.
  2. It’s never too early to start saving for retirement. Do you think you have too much going on to even consider saving for retirement? Starting a retirement savings plan when you’re young is easier than you think. A wise first step is to take advantage of workplace retirement benefits—even if you’re still paying off debt. Many employers offer retirement match programs (up to a certain amount). Another way to start saving for retirement is to invest in Traditional or Roth IRAs. A Roth IRA is often cited as a great retirement savings option for young adults who are just beginning their careers, because of the associated tax advantages.*
  3. The stock market doesn’t have to be scary. As a millennial, you’ve seen some of the best and some of the worst times for the stock market, from its rise in the 1990s to its crash in 2008. This may have affected your level of confidence in stocks, but returns on money invested in the stock market can be a key component in a financially secure retirement. So where do you start? A good tip is to keep your investments simple and monitor returns over time, rather than chasing big returns on a confusing set of stocks and monitoring performance daily. The overall returns on stock market investments are realized over time, not on a daily basis. Learn more about investing from Navy Federal Financial Group.

Need more information about starting a retirement savings plan? Check out MakingCents for a step-by-step guide to saving for retirement. While you’re there, you can also review dozens of other articles related to achieving financial well-being. MakingCents is your guide to a bright financial future.

*Roth IRAs allow individuals to pay taxes on contributions to the plan at the time they are made (when tax rates are usually relatively low), rather than when funds are withdrawn during retirement (when tax rates can be significantly higher). Withdrawals are tax-free at retirement if the account holder is at least age 59½ and has held the account for at least 5 years. Premature withdrawals are subject to ordinary income tax and a 10-percent tax penalty.

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