Tips for an easier and happier retirement.

In this day and age saving for retirement seems to get harder and harder and is increasingly becoming a goal that is put on the back burner for many Americans. Tips for an easier and happier retirement.With lower wages and higher housing cost, much of the middle class are struggling just to get by. Even with these obstacles in life, there are still ways to save for a prosperous retirement.

Start today. Many people make the mistake of thinking it's either too early or too late to start saving for retirement. The truth is you can start saving at any time, of course, the earlier you start, the more money you will have when the time comes. Compounding interest is a beautiful thing. On the other hand, it is better late than never, because even later in life those savings will add up.

Put into your 401K. If you are lucky enough to work for an employer who offers a 401K, do it! The money you invest is pre-taxed so that you won't feel it in your pocketbook as much. If you your employer matches it, make sure to contribute and take full advantage of the money they are just handing you. Even if you leave your job, your 401K is yours to take with you to invest how you please.

Open an IRA. An individual retirement account (IRA) will help you build a stack of cash for later in life. There are two different options when it comes to IRAs. If you and your spouse have a retirement plan through your employment, a Traditional IRA may be right for you. The contributions would be tax-deductible, and your earning will have a chance to grow tax-deferred until your retirement. A Roth IRA would be a choice if you can meet certain income requirements. When you turn 59 and a half, you would be able to make qualified withdrawals that are federal tax-free as long as you have had the account for at least five years.

Play catch up. If you started funding for retirement early and then turn 50, you can contribute to your IRAs and 401K beyond what you were typically allowed. This means you can put more into it to make up for lost times when you weren't able to pay into retirement the way you had wanted.

Set Goals. By setting goals for your retirement you not only have something to look forward to but you also have an idea of how much to save along the way. Setting benchmarks over the years will give you satisfaction that you are meeting your retirement goals.

There are many ways to save for retirement and knowing the ins and outs can be tricky. That's why it is always a good idea to contact a professional financial advisor like West Financial Group to help guide you to a path to success for retirement.