future selfSaving for retirement becomes a lot easier once you’ve make a conscious decision to be mindful of your future self when making any financial decisions today. Becoming more mindful of the retirement savings choices made by others can also be helpful. If your parents are still alive, think about the example they set for you. Can they afford to do everything they’d like? If not, why not? If so, how did they make that happen? Did they live within their means? Save regularly? Invest for retirement?

Now, think about the retired people you know who have the financial freedom to travel, eat well, and enjoy their lives. Is that something you want for yourself? You won’t have it unless you start saving soon.

Then think about the folks you know who are growing older without the financial resources to truly enjoy their retirement. Is that what you want? I have an Uncle in his eighties who is still driving a semi to put food on the table, and I can tell you that working at 80 holds no appeal for me.

Finally, think about your future self. How comfortable will your retirement be if you don’t save one dollar? What will it be like if you put off saving for 10 more years? Or wait until “later,” when you can afford to start saving? Since later always comes sooner than we anticipate, let’s talk about what you can do to be mindful of your future self now: Make a 2016 Contribution to Your IRA Account today.

If you don’t have enough cash to contribute $5500 for 2016, contribute as much as you can now, and then begin saving for 2017. Set-up automatic monthly contributions for the remaining months of 2017, and you’ll be ahead of the retirement savings game when next year’s IRA deadline rolls around.

You can learn more about investing mindfully for your retirement in Chapter 24 of my book Mindful Money: Simple Practices for Reaching Your Financial Goals and Increasing Your Happiness Dividend.