By: Fitness Educators
Whether you’re a new trainer or are just beginning your education to become one, it’s imperative that you begin thinking about the entire arc of your career in the industry. Oftentimes trainers find themselves five, ten or even twenty years into their life’s work and they still haven’t taken the time to secure their financial future. All of that hard earned cash seems to have slipped away.
Some of you may be saying things such as, “I love training and will never quit!” or “I’ll never retire.” Which leads you to believe why should you even worry about it? The harsh reality is that these statements may hold true for a select few of you; however, for the fast majority these words will fall flat. The fact is, no matter how much you love training people, there will most likely come a time that it is no longer possible or you just decide it’s time to take a breather and retire. Wouldn’t it be great if at some time in the future you had the OPTION of retiring?
So, what can you do to secure your financial future? Get educated on retirement saving options and start ASAP! The sooner you start the greater ability you have to harness the power of compound interest to firm up your future. I’m not a financial advisor but I can share a few basic retirement vehicle options to help get the wheels turning.
If you work for a corporate gym they may have a 401k investment option for you. The basic premise of this is that you have money deducted from your paycheck and placed in mutual funds within the 401k before it ever touches your hands. Often the employer will match some of your contributions to sweeten the pot. To learn more about this option and its benefits just talk to your employer’s HR department.
If you are an independent trainer or even a corporate trainer, then the ROTH IRA is a great option. You can often set one up by committing as little as $100 per month. Many mutual fund companies even have “target date” retirement funds that take the guess work out of investing. With these you simply pick the year closest to when you anticipate retiring and the fund adjusts accordingly. Though these may not be the ideal funds to invest in long-term, they give you a very simple way to start and as you know action beats talk 100% of the time! The best part about the ROTH IRA is that your investment grows tax free and when you withdraw the money later there are NO TAXES! The only downside is that if you make “too much money” you can’t use a ROTH IRA. Let’s hope for that problem.
If you make too much money to use a ROTH IRA or you want to put away more than the allowable limit for the ROTH, then the SEP IRA gives you that option. A SEP IRA which works in much the same way as a traditional IRA or a 401k but allows you to put up to 25% of your income. This is an excellent way to stash tons of cash in the mutual fund market.
There is much more you can learn on this subject and I advise you to get serious about your financial education so that you can enjoy the fruits of your labor long into your golden years. A couple of great books on this subject are “The Automatic Millionaire” by David Bach and “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey. Both offer straight forward advice and will help you start off on the right foot. Much like the work your clients put in for success in reaching their fitness goals, you must put in the work to achieve your financial goals.
To a long and fruitful career!
*This is my personal favorite.