A woman reviews finances on laptop computer

Good money habits

Nov 24, 2021
Empower Insights

Simple ways to strengthen your financial future


How long does it take to form a habit?

Whether you’re trying to stick to a household budget, pay your recurring bills on time (every time) or avoid splurging on that morning gourmet coffee, you know it’ll probably take some time – and a positive mindset. Experts claim it can require weeks, months or potentially years to change certain behaviors based on your particular lifestyle. It’s also been suggested that repetitive actions can make up more than 40% of a person’s daily agenda.1,2

As a leading professor of psychology explains, “Habits are an adaptive feature of how the brain works.”3

But, no matter your brainpower, willpower or superpower, establishing any new exercise simply starts with having a plan in place, especially when it comes to creating a successful formula for your financial future.

To start, there are several productive patterns you can incorporate into your normal routine today that can help you reach your retirement goals tomorrow.4

Contribution percentage

Empower research reveals that individuals who add at least 10% of their annual salary to their retirement plan account are on pace to potentially replace 100% (or more) of their working income for their future.4 

Say it out loud

There is something to be said about engaging in an old-school conversation and discussing your financial situation with your spouse or partner. Of course, 67% of adults who speak regularly with their significant other about their hopes for their retirement journey are better prepared for the future than those who rarely chat or remain quiet about their savings dreams.4

So, spill the beans. All of them.

Write down your goals

Drawing up an official blueprint for your retirement picture can help you follow a more fruitful path and gain control of your finances.5

Empower insight shows that people who draft a formal financial outline for their future are more hungry for their next adventure when compared with those individuals who have yet to put pen to paper.4 Jotting down your wishes for retirement — like where you want to live, what activities you want to do and when you want to retire — can keep you on track as you get older.  

Get advice

Could you use a push in the right direction?

Stop and ask for help!

If you’re stuck in neutral when you’re mapping out your long-term investing itinerary, accessing professional guidance can steer you toward your desired destination. Contact your employer to discover what advice options, resources and tools are available to help you navigate your route to retirement.4


1 The New York Times, Tara Parker-Pope, “How to build healthy habits,” February 2020.

2 NPR, Hidden Brain podcast, ”Creatures Of Habit: How Habits Shape Who We Are — And Who We Become,” December 2019.

3 Time, Cassie Shortsleeve, “5 Science-Approved Ways to Break a Bad Habit,” August 2018.

4 Empower Institute, “Scoring the Progress of Retirement Savers 2020,” September 2020.

5 CNBC, Alenandria White, “11 tips for saving money at the grocery store,” September 2020.


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