Beginning to Save Making a Plan

Factors such as life expectancy, health quality, market conditions, Social Security benefits and inflation rates can't be pinned down, which makes knowing precisely how much you'll need to retire seem impossible. Despite that, it is possible to estimate your needs and set that as a target for yourself.

Start by making yourself a budget to manage your money. Make a list of your fixed monthly bills (such as rent and car insurance). Then, track your variable spending (like food and gas) for a month or two. Use your money in a way that allows you to meet your monthly obligations, save money for the future and have a little fun, too.

Meanwhile, take charge of your debt. Take inventory of what you owe, for credit cards, car or student loans, mortgages and other obligations. Strive to pay down what you owe, starting with loans with the highest interest rate first.

Then, identify short- and mid-term financial goals you hope to accomplish along the way. Together with your considerations and estimations, the big picture of what it will take to achieve retirement should start to emerge.


  • At what point in your life you're starting to save
  • Your desired lifestyle in retirement
  • Expenses (housing, transportation, utilities, medical)


  • How many years before you retire
  • How many years you'll spend retired
  • Expenses (housing, transportation, utilities, medical)

Saving on Your Own

Starting to save on your own isn’t nearly as intimidating as it may seem. Opening an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) with Navy Federal is a great first option. Contribute an amount you can comfortably set aside, and as years go by, you can increase your contributions to reach your target. Think of your contribution as paying yourself first. Then, every year, raise your contribution level by one percent, working toward a 15 percent contribution.

Professional Planning

If you're still feeling overwhelmed, work with a professional to learn about the best options for your situation and to clearly define your goals. From maximizing your contributions and tax benefits to diversifying your investments, they can help clear up the confusion and get you going in the right direction.

A financial advisor can help you sort through the options and plan a strategy that allows you to reach your retirement goal.

Next: Identifying Options

Want to start your retirement savings?

Open an Individual Retirement Account or Certificate from Navy Federal.

Not sure where to start? Contact a financial advisor at 1-877-221-8108.

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An investor should consider, before investing, whether the investor's or designated beneficiary's home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state's qualified tuition program.

If a municipal fund security describes one or more of their investment options as having the characteristics of a money market fund, it is important to know that an investment in the security is not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC or any other government agency (unless such guarantee is specifically provided by or on behalf of such issuer) and, if the security is held out as maintaining a stable net asset value, that although the issuer seeks to preserve the value of the investment at $1.00 per share or such other applicable fixed share price, it is possible to lose money by investing in the security.