20 Jan

Attention Millennials! Start a 401(k) in Your Twenties

Jessie recently landed her first “real” job after graduating from college. She couldn’t wait to start. Her excitement turned to anxiety, however, during the human resources orientation. Talk of saving for retirement through participation in the company’s 401(k) plan sounded like a foreign language to her. “I’m only 22,” she thought. “Do I really need to be saving for retirement already?”

If you’re like Jessie — in your 20s and just starting out — you may also struggle with socking away money for a retirement decades away. After all, there are so many other things to be paying for! A place to live, transportation, gas, food, clothing, Internet and a smartphone likely take the lion’s share of your paycheck.

Don’t Shortchange Your Future Well-being

But starting now may make all the difference in retiring when you’re ready. Why work more years than you need to, just because you didn’t plan for retirement when you were young? For example, if Jessie starts contributing $200 a month at age 22 and earns an average annual return of 7 percent, she will have accumulated $758,518 when she is ready to retire at age 67. However, if she waits to start saving for retirement until she is 42 and earns the same return, she will need to contribute $936 monthly to reach the same nest egg by age 67.*

Regular saving started early can go a long way over time. That’s why it makes sense to take advantage of a 401(k) — if offered at your place of employment — when you start your first job. Many companies offer automatic enrollment and automatic contribution increase features that make participation easy. Be sure to contribute at least enough to your retirement account to get any matching contributions your employer may offer, essentially free money to you.

For more information on the benefits and options of your employer-sponsored retirement plan, talk to your plan’s administrator. To learn more about other retirement savings options, call 228-474-3427 to schedule an appointment with an NCU Wealth Management investment professional.

20 Jan

Housing OutlookWill 2015 Be a Good Year to Buy a Home?

As the economy has gradually improved coming out of the Great Recession, home sales have picked up too. In mid-2014, sales of existing homes were on pace to top 5 million for the year, and the figure should top 5.2 million in 2015, according to a forecast from the National Association of Realtors®.

Many young adults — some of whom have lived with their parents to save money — may be ready for a home of their own. However, many of them mistakenly believe that they don’t have enough saved for a down payment to buy a house. But in 2014, one in five homebuyers who took out a conforming, conventional mortgage put down less than 10 percent.* Some potential buyers are also unduly pessimistic about their chances of qualifying for a mortgage.

With a good supply of homes for sale, mortgage rates that are still low and a variety of mortgage options so you can select one that fits your plans and budget, 2015 could be a great time to buy a home.

We Can Help

Don’t assume you can’t buy a home! The home loan experts at Navigator Credit Union can help you find a mortgage that fits your budget. And they’ll explain how the process works so you’re comfortable with your decision. Let us help you cross the threshold to homeownership. Call (228) 474-3449 to get started.

* Source: Freddie Mac.