3 practical retirement tips no one ever wants to hear, according to a financial planner

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

While some retirement advice is practical, that doesn’t necessarily make it easier to swallow. According to financial planner Kenneth Chavis IV of LourdMurray in Beverly Hills, California, there are three pieces of advice on saving for retirement that aren’t necessarily fun, trendy, or exciting, but are tried and true.

Even if you’d rather cover your ears and close your eyes — listen up. 

1. You have to start saving early 

In your 20s and 30s, saving for retirement doesn’t seem to be an immediate need. But to have success with investing and retirement savings, starting early is essential. 

Retirement savings grow based on compound interest, where money earns money and grows continuously. Over a number of years, this growth adds up and can help you reach your goals.

Chavis said the best advice isn’t trendy or fun. “If you can start investing at 20 or 25 versus at 30 or 35, you will have a lot more years of compounding growth,” he told Insider by email. “Investing at an early age will give your investments more time to grow and will allow you to capture more of that compounded growth as retirement nears.”

While saving for your future isn’t exactly fun or glamorous in your 20s and 30s, it is critical to having a comfortable life later. 

2. Popular investments won’t work for retirement savings

There’s a good chance that keeping up with trending investments won’t get you to retirement. 

“Over the last year we’ve seen a number of improbable, overnight millionaires made of those who have speculated in various areas of the market and won big,” Chavis said, referring to meme stocks and the rise of investments like NFTs and cryptocurrency. While these things might seem good temporarily, they’re probably not smart long-term investments that will build wealth that lasts. 

Instead, he recommends ignoring trendy investment advice and focusing on a long-term strategy. “The best long-term investment strategy for someone’s retirement is to consistently invest over time into a diversified, properly allocated portfolio,” he told Insider.

3. You have to invest consistently over time

If you want to retire comfortably, investing consistently over time will be key. It takes years of consistent investing and saving to build up the amount you’ll need to retire.

Consistency ensures that there will be money there waiting for you. Not only will it make saving a habit, but it will also help to make sure that money is always being invested and growing steadily.  

Investing consistently can be easily done two ways, depending on what type of account is available to you. An employer’s 401(k) plan can take the money right out of your paycheck automatically each month and invest it. “I recommend that everyone invest in their employer-sponsored retirement plan every paycheck,” Chavis said.

If a 401(k) isn’t available, setting up an IRA with automatic deposits could help you create more consistency in your investing