For previous generations, retiring by age 65 with a nice pension was practically a guarantee. For the modern workforce, retirement age — and the concept of retirement itself — is a little more uncertain.
In fact, a recent Merrill Edge report found that 83% of millennials plan to work during their retirement.
Although it may not seem like a big deal when you're young, working into your 60s and beyond can take a physical, mental and emotional toll. It's wise to start planning for your retirement as early as possible so that if you do work during your "golden years," it's by choice, not out of necessity.
Below, eight Forbes Finance Council members to give their best advice for millennials who want to start preparing now for their financial future.
Clockwise from left: Domenica D'Anna, Ismael Wrixen, Elliot Trexler, Brice Carter, Charlie Youakim, Ryan Marquis, Ibrahim AlHusseini, Nick Stamos. All photos courtesy of individual members.
1. Evaluate Your Financial Health Often
With adequate planning, you can have the life you want (and deserve) after retirement. Time is your biggest and most valuable asset – pay off any debts quickly and aggressively. Create a budget for your monthly savings and stick to it.
Don't rely solely on your 401(k) plan either. Educate yourself and make healthy financial choices on a consistent basis to set yourself up for success. - Domenica D'Anna, Supreme Lending
2. Have A Side Hustle
Millennials are beginning to realize that not working in retirement can lead to boredom and apathy. But let me say this – you can’t expect to get different results from everyone else if you’re doing exactly what they’re doing. You need to think seriously about freelancing, starting an online business, selling on Etsy, or whatever else you can do to earn some extra cash on the side. - Ismael Wrixen, FE International
3. Invest Early And Invest Often
Millennials should automatically deposit a percent of their paycheck into a retirement account so they develop the habit of investing for retirement. Starting this habit early maximizes the amount of time their investments will compound. - Elliot Trexler, Global Return Asset Management, LLC
4. Take Advantage of Compound Interest And Roth IRAs
The best tool to aid us in accumulating wealth is compound interest. The earlier you begin saving, the more time compound interest will be working to build wealth. Since earnings in Roth IRAs are nontaxable, saving early and often into a Roth IRA may allow you to reap the rewards from years of compound interest without the hindrance of taxes. - Brice Carter, Financial Strategies Group
5. Plan For Homeownership
Home ownership is still one of the more viable paths to secure retirement. Owning a home as soon as possible and continuing over time could give millennials the opportunity to unlock the wealth potential of their homes in retirement, even if there are some downturns in the market. - Nick Stamos, Sindeo
6. Take Advantage Of Financial Apps
Studies show that millennials should look to smartphone apps and other digital tools to help them plan for retirement. Millennials should be using technology to help them with these planning obstacles. Robo-advisors are a good match, because 71% of millennials say they would rather go to the dentist than speak with a banker. - Ibrahim AlHusseini, The Husseini Group
Forbes Finance Council is an invitation-only organization for executives in successful accounting, financial planning and wealth management firms. Do I qualify? 7. Download Acorns, Use It Daily
I've found that using Acorns is the easiest way to save money. Given it's intuitive, easy-to-use interface and digital-only execution (no need to enter a bank branch or advisor's office), millennials should be able to adopt Acorns as a savings platform with ease and do so from the comfort of their own smart devices. - Ryan Marquis, Plastc, Inc.
8. Invest In Smart, Conservative Ways
If you start investing from the very beginning of your career, and you do so in a safe, conservative and positive way, you'll have no trouble with taking advantage of your retirement. Avoid "investing" in day-trading and options. Instead, put your money away in your IRAs, index funds, and investment properties and focus your mind on your work and enjoying life. - Charlie Youakim, Sezzle