If you want to retire wealthy, planning is the answer. Many people think they must increase their income drastically to retire wealthy. However, research shows that wealth during retirement is correlated to responsible saving patterns and planning. Income is not one of the top reasons for a healthy retirement. Talk to your retirement adviser about your goals, and practice these simple steps.

Start Saving Early

The younger you begin saving for retirement, the better off you will be in the long run. First, you will have years of savings in the bank by starting before age 30. Second, the money that you have been saving will have an opportunity to grow interest each month it is saved or invested. The effect of starting just five years early can be huge when interest is taken into account. Many young professionals think they do not have enough money to start saving for retirement. However, simply by bringing lunch to work every day you can save an average of $5 each work day, or $80 each month, toward your retirement. Consider a sack lunch and place the money into your retirement account instead.

Use Retirement Accounts

Select a quality tax-advantaged account. If your company provides a 401k benefit, take advantage of this benefit. By using your company-provided option, you may receive a salary match from your employer. This is essentially "free money" for you to claim each month for your retirement. If your company does not offer a 401k, you can still save for retirement.

Set up an IRA to save money for retirement. An IRA will provide you with tax advantages in the present. You can also establish a Roth IRA that will offer tax advantages in the future. Using these tax savings can result in faster accumulation of wealth.

Avoid Frivolous Debt

Not all debt is bad, but a large majority is considered frivolous. There is a difference between healthy debt and frivolous debt. First, only take on debts you can afford to pay. The cost of a default can be financially devastating for many years. Second, only take on debts that build your asset base. For example, take a mortgage, but avoid going too deep into credit card debt. Finance the purchase of an automobile, but avoid financing the purchase of a television. The more assets you build with your debt, the more secure you will be later in life.

Choose Location Wisely

Retiring wealthy also has a lot do with picking the right retirement destination. Retiring on the coast, or in a luxury retirement community, will largely restrict your flexibility. Consider this when you choose your retirement destination. Consider the lifestyle you would like to live in your retirement. If you want to dine out every night and continue to travel, make your permanent residence inexpensive. On the other hand, if you plan on living simply and staying put, you may be able to select a more expensive location. 

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