You know that the decisions you make now can have positive effects on your ability to retire later. The same can be said of bad decisions. If you’re planning your retirement, you’re going to want to look at many of your decisions. Here are some of the most common decisions you’ll make that will influence how much you’re able to put away for retirement.

How You Spend Your Early Adult Years

According to Money Crashers, how you begin your work life has a long-term effect on your your retirement. For example, the earlier you start saving for retirement, the less you have to pay out each month. If you save $5,000 a year for 45 years, you’ll have $1,196,000 or so in your retirement account, (assuming that you made 6% interest on it.)

However, to have the same amount in retirement after only 25 years of saving, you’d need to put more than $25,000 a year away. If you start your adult years by saving money and you continue to do it, you can count on having an easier time saving for your retirement years.

Your Education

Investopedia points out that the bachelor’s degree of today is probably equal to the high school diploma of yesterday. Many decent jobs require advanced degrees, even Ph.D.’s. This, however, can be a double-edged sword. Not only does pursuing an advanced degree take you out of the workforce, it sometimes can leave you with loan debt you’ll have to pay off. Both of those factors can influence how much cash you have in your retirement savings by the time you’re ready to retire.

How You Spend Money

Your spending habits can negative or positively affect your retirement bottom line. Aside accumulating too much debt, you can also spend your way out of retirement. “Toys” like jet skis and extra cars can take a chunk out of the money you can put toward retirement. You’ll be able to offset this some by investing early, but too much of this kind of spending can seriously deplete a retirement account.

Your Family Decisions

According to the book “The Millionaire Next Door,” choosing a money-conscious, even frugal spouse benefits you when it comes to wealth accumulation. The more you and your spouse agree on your finances as well as the good financial habits you develop together will greatly influence your bottom line.

Additionally, the number of children that you choose to have also determines how much money you can save. The expenses related to having even one child add up, according to Money Crashers. A child can cost anywhere from $200,000 to $400,000 to support from the ages of zero to eighteen.

Concluding Thoughts

As you can see, there are a number of decisions that you can make that greatly affect how much money you end up with at retirement. How early and how much you save impacts your ability to accumulate money. As well, you can expect decisions you make about your education, family, and spending also are determining factors in how much you have. A solid retirement requires you to methodically plan and budget in order to accomplish your financial goals.