This is the final of three columns focusing on savings tips offered by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration in its booklet, “Savings Fitness: A Guide to Your Money and Your Financial Future.”
One key message from EBSA is to start saving now. Don’t wait, the agency urges.
Of course, funds may be tight, so start small, if necessary. Even a small amount of savings regularly is better than none. Savings add up and can make a difference over time.
In discussing retirement savings, the agency makes clear if your employer offers a retirement plan, take advantage of it. Many Americans do not make use of the retirement plans their employers make available for them.
For those with retirement plans, the EBSA urges: Don’t borrow from your retirement plan or permanently withdraw funds before retirement unless absolutely necessary.
Since financial crises happen, the agency suggests an emergency fund be set up in a low-risk, accessible account to help avoid the need to dip into a retirement plan.
It’s not easy to build an emergency fund, but try to do the best you can. A few sources of funding the agency suggests include pay from extra working hours or a temporary job, a tax refund or a raise.
For more information, read the EBSA publication at www.dol.gov/ebsa .