When it comes to retirement, we all want to get there. Tomorrow is the ultimate goal, but pretty far fetched, more often than not. But even if we can’t retire tomorrow, what we do with our money, and where we choose to put it, can have a serious impact on when we can actually retire. With that being said, we have found a couple of great savings vehicles to get us there faster.
Most of us know that we should be saving money for retirement. But, the two biggest questions surrounding saving money are: how much and where should we be putting it?
How much money you should be saving for retirement will vary based on your income, and the proposed lifestyle you want to live upon retirement.
A good rule of thumb, if you can swing it, is to save at least 15% of your income monthly. However, the more you save now, the better off you will be in the future. Plus, the sooner you can retire, which is what we are all aiming for. So if you can save closer to 25% of your income, you will be well ahead of the game!
When it comes to where you should be saving it, that can change almost daily because some of the rates can fluctuate so much. If you are putting your money in your traditional brick and mortar bank though, you are losing out on some potential major interest.
According to the FDIC, the national average savings account interest rate is currently at .09%. Isn’t that crazy? That is basically nothing and will certainly not help you much on your path to retirement.
Luckily, there are plenty of other savings options that are not brick and mortar, so they have a higher interest rate. These high yield savings accounts run upwards of 2% for anything you put in them.
When we decided to switch from our credit union to an online savings platform, we did our research first. We wanted to make sure the institution:
- was FDIC insured, because some of them are not
- had the highest interest rate at the time, and was consistently performing among the top competitors
- had a platform that was easy to navigate, manage and transfer money back and forth
While there may be some other great competing options on the market right now, we went with My Savings Direct. This platform met all of the criteria and currently has an interest rate of 2.40%.
This savings institution is run by Emigrant Direct, or Elan Financial, which is who I had my previous high yield savings account with years ago. Before the Great Recession hit, my high yield savings interest rate was 5.5%, which was awesome! Unfortunately, nothing has compared to those rates since that time period, sadly enough. But I will take what I can get, because 2.40% is still a whole lot more than .09%.
After figuring out the savings piece of the puzzle, the investing piece comes next. Now that we are making more from our savings, we are able to invest a little bit more also. But there are so many different places to choose from to invest that it can make your head spin.
Due to that, we went with a robo advisor since they handle a lot of the work for you. We simply don’t have the time, or desire, to weed through all of the ETF’s that are out there to pick and choose every month.
Plus, we didn’t want to have to pay hefty management fees every month either for our funds just to sit there and continue growing.
So we went with the Betterment platform. This platform is really easy to set up and use. Once you go through the initial onboarding, you can schedule deposits or make one time deposits, depending upon your cash flow and retirement goals. And they only charge .25% to manage everything, including rebalancing, which is fantastically low.
We have loved all of their services and the platform, because it is so easy to navigate. We also love that we can see exactly what is going on in each account whenever we want to. They make investing so easy!
savings & investing for the win!
Overall, we love being able to make more on the money we save, as well as invest more of it for a higher return, with low fees. Both of these things coupled together are helping us to grow our retirement savings faster than we would have without them. And while we won’t be retiring tomorrow, we know that if we continue on this path, with these savings vehicles, we will be there sooner rather than later.
Have you tried either of these savings vehicles for retirement before? If so, how have they helped you along your path to retirement?