Retirement Planning While on a DMP? Yes You Can!

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Retirement Planning While on a DMP? Yes You Can!

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My wife and I have twice a week financial discussions; we're constantly looking for unnecessary things to cut from our spending, and looking for ways to do things cheaper has just become a way of life.  Life is a continuous juggling act to match available funds to a need just at the right time, to ensure we have the essentials.

Getting out of debt is hard work.

But I can't ignore the fact that I need to plan for retirement age either.  Doing any preparation for retirement is difficult when enrolled in a debt relief program and on a tight budget.  In order to meet all my financial commitments each month, including my DMP payment, I had to cease contributing any funds to my retirement 401K program. 

The good news is that my retirement account is growing, and there are things I can do to ensure I get the maximum growth even while I'm still enrolled in the DMP and am not contributing any of my own money toward it.

1.) Even during our years of rampant overspending, we contributed money to our retirement 401K and took advantage of matching employer funds. Having a nice sum of money in the account allows it to grow as the stock market goes up.

2.) My employer contributes 2% of my salary to my retirement program even if I don't contribute one cent of my own money.

3.) My 401K program provides stock fund categories that diversify contributions across different company stocks of a similar type. Examples being "Large Companies," "Small Companies," and "International Stocks." I receive a quarterly statement informing me of the rate of return of each of the stock funds. I can shift funds within my account to put more or less funds in each stock fund according to their current growth rate.

4.) My company also provides periodic seminars to help us understand the capabilities of our program, the information provided in the statements, and how to use that information to maximize the growth of our retirement funds

Finishing our DMP is our top priority, but I am also keeping an eye on my retirement account.  Once we graduate from the DMP, we will again be able to contribute funds to our 401K and take advantage of matching funds by my employer.  But in the meantime, I am very fortunate that my company offers a great program, as described above, that allows me to continue working toward my retirement goals.

Are you doing anything to prepare for retirement while paying off your debt? 

Is there anything more you could be doing?

Related Links:

Can't Cut Anymore!

Savings? What Savings?

Changing Jobs While Enrolled in the Debt Management Plan

 

Travis Pizel, debt management plan customer with leading provider of debt relief, CareOne Services, Inc. Travis Pizel

Travis is a contributing writer for the My Journey out of Debt and A Straight Talk on Debt blogs. He is also a very active member of the CareOne community forums. Travis is currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Travis candidly shares his personal journey to pay off his debt and the tips he's learned along the way. As a father and husband he provides a unique perspective on balancing debt, finances, and family in Minnesota. You can also read more from Travis on the Enemy of Debt blog, where he is a featured blogger. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.

To connect with Travis on Google+ click 

You can follow Travis on Twitter @DebtChronicles

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  • Does whining count? LOL Good for you for having something. We have nothing right now but we do think about it. We are hoping that by next year we will be able to start putting money into the 401K. Daryl's student loans are almost (6 months) about to go from $250 a month to $50 a month. It will be the first domino to fall in our debt train.

  • Whining *almost* counts Kimberly.....lol.  It's good that you're at least thinking about it - I'm sure you'll rock that retirement planning as soon as you're able - but I can understand that right now the focus needs to be paying down that debt!

  • I am enrolled in a retirement program called "deferred comp"  before taxes.. it enlists me in a reputable stock program and it matches my fund and they send me a monthly statement that allows me to watch my stocks grows and also keep on top of the my retirement bonus.  I am also enrolled in a retirement program with my employer the State Government,  which doesn't always feel secure.. so I am happy that I am enrolled in this program also.

  • It's great, BJH, that you're enrolled in two different retirement programs - not having all your eggs in one basket is a great idea.  Here's to watching your retirement funds grow!

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