In these tense economic times, retirement living isn't as simple as collecting a pension and a social security check. In order to sustain an enjoyable and stable lifestyle, you will likely need to rely on a retirement savings. While the task of saving money for retirement can seem overwhelming at first, it is doable with dedication and early planning.
Set A Goal
Saving money without a goal in mind is basically useless. It's the same as getting behind the wheel and just aimlessly driving with no clear destination in mind. Setting a goal involves a thorough discussion with a financial advisor. The advisor will be able to review your current retirement offerings, such as an employee-funded pension or 401(k) and compare this to the projected amount of income you will need to sustain your desired lifestyle upon retirement.
Based on this comparison, the planner can help you determine your savings goal based on an annual, monthly or pay-period contributing frequency.
Start An IRA
If your employer offers a 401(k) program or you have a pension, don't assume that this is enough. These two offerings create a solid foundation for retirement savings, but you should take it upon yourself to build upon these efforts. Opening an IRA is an excellent way to accomplish this. Both traditional and Roth IRAs have contribution limits; however, you are often afforded the opportunity to make your contributions tax-free or make tax-free deductions for a period, which can be especially beneficial.
A financial planner will be able to assist you with determining which form of IRA is best, as the type of preexisting retirement savings you have, your age and financial situation all contribute to determining which type of investment is best for you.
Once you know where you want to contribute and how much you can comfortably afford to save each month or pay-period, set up an automatic deduction. Setting up an automatic deduction helps promote discipline because it prevents you from having to manually move the money on your own.
When you have to move the money on your own, you're more apt to forget or forgo the savings to make a special purchase. Your financial institution will be able to assist you with setting up this deduction.
Successfully saving for retirement is an involved process that requires a certain level of expertise: a level of expertise that often comes natural to financial planners. Don't overlook the benefit of working with a planner to help you reach your goals.