How web developers can prepare for retirement

February 18, 2022
5
min read
How web developers can prepare for retirement
Amanda Winstead
by
Amanda Winstead

As a web developer, your skills are among the most in-demand at present. Indeed, this is likely to remain the case for some time, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting a faster than average job growth for the profession. This means there are great opportunities to engage with interesting and lucrative opportunities. But what does this mean for your future?    

Well, the stability of your income can mean you are better equipped to plan for your retirement. This may not have been a major concern previously, but as you transition through your 30s and 40s, it becomes a vital consideration. Not to mention that a well-paid job doesn’t necessarily guarantee your financial wellbeing after retirement. Whether you want to take early retirement or break away in your 60s, you need to be intentional in your approach.

So, let’s take a look at some of the key considerations in preparing for your retirement from web development.

Understand the hurdles

Many web developers thinking about planning for retirement have reached their 30s and 40s. As a Millennial, your approach to spending and saving is likely colored by various difficult economic challenges you’ve already experienced. You may be considering saving for retirement earlier than your parents did, but these efforts have likely been hampered by higher student debt and the 2008 market crash. This can understandably be daunting when planning for your retirement. Nevertheless, you should also be reassured that this has imbued you with a better understanding of how to adapt to such difficulties. 

Your first step should be to gain clarification about the obstacles you face. Review your finances and identify the problematic areas. This may be the high proportion of your income directed toward debt. It could be the city you are living in has rent rates so high you have little remaining from your salary to put aside for retirement savings. Writing these concerns out for yourself can be a useful way of visualizing the issues and making them more manageable.

You can then start to look for practical ways to navigate these hurdles. If you have multiple forms of debt, consolidating your loans into a single repayment can lower your monthly outgoings. If the city you live in has high rents, it may be wise to seek property in the suburbs. It is increasingly practical for web developers to work remotely, so pursuing this can cut both your rent costs and your commuting expenses.

Utilize your income wisely

To effectively prepare for your retirement, you need to make sure you’re putting your web development income into the right places. Though you may face previously discussed obstacles, there are some strategies Millennials can adopt to save money for retirement consistently and effectively. This includes starting early to put away small amounts into high-interest savings accounts. If you’re a staff web developer for a business, make sure you check in with human resources to ascertain their policy on matching 401(k) contributions you make. This can be a key source of income you can utilize to strengthen your retirement funds.

Directing your income into the right places isn’t always easy. It’s certainly not as simple as the “just cut down on the avocado toast” argument you’re often faced with from older generations. It can take a lot of work and frequent research about where you can save money in your budget and what investments perform the best. It can be wise to work with a financial advisor here.

It’s also worth looking at where you can minimize costs in your web development job, too. Utilize free or open-source software wherever practical. If you’re looking to level up your career, lower-cost e-learning modules can be just as effective as in-person college courses. Remember, too, to save receipts for all out-of-pocket work expenses. You can often claim these back on your tax return and put them toward your retirement fund.

Develop revenue streams

Preparing effectively for retirement should include some focus on developing multiple revenue streams. This can make attending to your costs of living while saving for your retirement more manageable. There are a wide variety of opportunities for web developers and you can take advantage of these. You may be able to take on a little freelance work on the side to top up your savings. Though it’s important not to do this so often you burn out. 

That said, branching out independently can have multiple benefits. It can be particularly useful for industry networking. Showing your value as an independent contractor with expertise in web development or other tech fields can see you gain more lucrative opportunities. This isn’t just good for saving now. It can also provide you with an occasional top-up revenue stream if you choose to take early retirement but still keep a little skin in the game. 

You can also find this approach can open doors to passive income after you retire. Starting your own web development business now and building your reputation can be considered an investment. You can build your company’s profile for a while and sell the business to reinvest for your retirement funds. Alternatively, you can maintain ownership but pass the day-to-day running onto others, while you receive a percentage of the profits. It’s important to remember this takes a significant amount of time and commitment now to yield benefits in the future. 

Conclusion

While you may enjoy your web development career, there is likely to be a time you want to retire to focus on other aspects of your life. It’s important to recognize that preparing effectively requires you to take prudent action as early as possible. Identify the hurdles so you can navigate them and be mindful about where you’re directing your income. It can also be wise to set up multiple revenue streams to assist your savings and support you during retirement. It may require some focus and sacrifice, but you’ll benefit in the long run. 

About the author:

Amanda Winstead is a writer from the Portland area with a background in communications and a passion for telling stories. Along with writing she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts. If you want to follow her writing journey, or even just say hi you can find her on Twitter.

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