Contribute as much as you can to your savings plans as early as possible. That way, your savings have a longer time to benefit from potential investment growth—and you enhance your ability to reach your retirement goal. A delay of even a few years could cost you thousands of dollars.
Pay yourself first
One secret to building financial security is to regularly pay yourself first. Instead of paying your bills first and trying to save what is left over, set money aside before you pay your bills. This way you can develop a budget around saving, and not the other way around.
Automatic payments, such as payroll deducted contributions or automatic contributions from your checking or savings account, not only help build your savings but also make it more affordable because you are budgeting for smaller, regular amounts.
Diversify your investments
You’ve heard the old saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” This is the basic idea behind diversification.
Putting your money in different types of investments can help you achieve a more consistent long-term performance than you would likely achieve if you put all your money in a single type of investment. In theory, when certain types of investments are declining in value, other types are gaining value.
Because some districts process adjustments to your 403(b) contributions only once or twice per year, check with your business office as to when you are allowed to make changes and plan accordingly.