The Big Thing That Might Derail Your Retirement   / Credit: Dreamstime.com

Baby boomers say that younger generations should limit their use of credit if they want to reach their retirement goals. That is the top piece of advice given by boomers who are currently living comfortably in their own retirement, according to new research. 

Overall, the researchers found that 71 percent of boomers say they are prepared to live comfortably once they reach retirement.  Among that group, 67 percent say that limiting the use of credit was the top thing that contributed to their retirement success.  An additional 58 percent say that saving early and often was another important factor in retirement success. 

"While earning a good salary certainly makes saving and limiting the use of credit easier, the survey shows that there are some things all of us can do to help us be better financially prepared for a comfortable retirement," said Lule Demmissie, managing director of retirement at TD Ameritrade. "Saving early and automatically, adopting more conservative spending habits and investing in a well-balanced portfolio are things we can all do."

In addition to saving and limiting the use of credit, retired boomers also say that they were able to meet their retirement goals by spending less on luxury and discretionary items and having a job with a good salary. Lastly, 51 percent of retired boomers say that they achieved their retirement goals by investing in a balanced portfolio.    

"If you can’t afford to save or invest a lot, consider small incremental deposits in a no-fee retirement account, and increase them as your salary increases," said Demmissie. "This path doesn’t mean you have to cut out all discretionary spending. Instead, you reprioritize your spending to allocate more wisely to things that make you most happy while cutting back on those expenditures that don’t really add much to your happiness and allocate that to your savings."

The research was based on the responses of 2,000 baby boomers. 

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