Retirement can feel far off, but it is never too early to start planning. Over 33% of Americans say they don’t have enough savings to retire, and even more, they are worried they can’t afford to retire until they reach 75. As incomes are stretched, is it unreasonable to expect people to put money into a pot for later life? Some say no, financial preparations are vital, while others take a more relaxed approach. But it is never too late to start thinking about your life post-retirement and what you will need to help you live comfortably.
Preparing for retirement doesn’t have to be stressful. It shouldn’t be. Financial planning for retirement can be stress-free and straightforward if you have the correct information at your fingertips. The more you know about your finances, the easier your retirement will be. Thankfully, there are many resources to help you prepare for retirement. This article will discuss several resources you can use to get started on the right track.
Contribute to a 401k
Many financial vehicles help you prepare for retirement, but one of the most popular is a 401k. It’s easy to see why: contributions are made pre-tax, they are not taxed as income when they are withdrawn, and some employers will match your contribution!
Contributing to a 401k can be a great way to get your retirement savings. You’ll have access to a fund that invests in stocks and bonds. And you won’t have to worry about taxes when you withdraw the money later in life.
The best part? You don’t need to be rich to start contributing to a 401k. The IRS mandates that individuals with an annual income below $18,000 qualify for the saver’s credit. This tax credit can range from 10 percent to 20 percent (depending on your income), which means if you contribute $4,000 or less into your 401k, you will receive up to $400 back in tax credits each year.
Pay off debts
When you are preparing for retirement it is to pay off any debts. You don’t want debt hanging over your head when you retire. Paying off credit cards and loans will help you sleep better at night and won’t stress you out as much if something happens.
One of the best things you can do to prepare for retirement is start investing now. The earlier you start investing, the more time your money will have to grow and earn interest. These investments could turn into a sizable nest egg that will help fund your retirement with enough time.
However, you should remember that there are different kinds of investments. Most people—especially younger investors—start investing in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Other options include real estate or using some of your savings to purchase a vacation home or small business, which may provide additional income in retirement.
If you’re looking for a general guideline on how much you should be saving up each month before retirement, experts recommend saving 10-15 percent of your net income. This amount might be too high for some people, but it’s a worthy goal to strive for if you want to reach financial security in old age.
Set up an IRA
One of the most essential financial tools for retirement is an IRA. An IRA lets you invest in stocks and other funds and gets you a tax break when you invest. It’s a great way to set aside money for later in life. Setting up an IRA is easy—all you need to do is pick which bank or fund you want your account with, fill out some paperwork, and decide how much money you want to put in each year.
Utilize employer’s contributions
One of the many resources that can help you prepare for retirement is your employer’s 401k. The contributions they make to your account will help ensure you have enough money saved up. There are many reasons people use their employer’s 401k as a resource. For one, it’s easy and convenient to contribute to this retirement account. You won’t have to worry about coming up with the money on your own – your employer will do this for you. Additionally, there are tax benefits when you put money into an employer-sponsored retirement plan like a 401k or 403b at work. The contributions made by your employer won’t show on your paycheck, so you don’t have to pay taxes on it until later in life when you withdraw the funds from the plan.
Consult with financial experts
The first resource you should consider is consulting with experts. Many certified financial planners, such as Eric Brahms, can help you prepare for retirement. These professionals are trained to assess your current situation and advise you on what you can do to improve it. They can also help with the more complex decisions, like investing in stocks versus bonds or 401k savings plans.
A certified financial planner will be able to offer advice that works best for you and your needs. It is essential to find someone who will take the time to get to know your financial needs, so consulting with an expert is essential. Financial planners have spent years studying this particular topic and have been tested by their peers to prove they’re up-to-date on the latest trends in finance. If this sounds like a good idea for you, start looking into finding a certified financial planner near you today!
Determine your retirement income to set your goals
To retire and live comfortably, you need to have a plan. You can work with a financial advisor or do it yourself. The important thing is that you set your goals to be realistic and achievable.
The first step is determining your retirement income. You’ll need to figure out how much money you’ll need to live the way you want when you retire. This will depend on your lifestyle, age, and desired comforts. Once you know this number, you can use it as a goal for all of your future planning efforts.
Check your social security benefits.
Social Security is the most crucial benefit for those on the verge of retirement. Without Social Security, 26 percent of retirees say they would have less than $10,000 in savings, and 44 percent would be living below the poverty line. If you are preparing for your retirement and don’t know if you will be eligible for Social Security, it’s time to check.
Luckily, there are a few ways to find out whether or not you are eligible for Social Security benefits. The easiest way is to simply go to social security’s website and click on “Am I Eligible?” This tool can help you determine how much you can expect and will tell you what years of work qualify for past benefits.
Use an auto-escalation feature.
An auto-escalation feature is one of the best ways to start preparing for retirement. This feature is a standard option that many employers offer their employees, but it can also be used on your own personal retirement account. You will automatically add additional funds to your retirement account each year with this option. For example, if you are not yet at the maximum contribution limit for your age bracket, you may add an extra 10% each year to help build up your fund. It’s a simple way to make sure that you have ample savings for retirement without worrying about it.
The earlier you start planning for retirement, the lower your monthly contributions will be, and the more you will be able to save up until the day you retire.