No matter where you are in life, contributing to your employer’s retirement saving plan may be an investment in your future.
So, where are you on the road to retirement planning?
These snapshots reflect the challenges and opportunities you could face at each stage of your life as you prepare for retirement:
You’re 18 – 25
You’re a grown up now and on your own. Enjoy this time of your life, but realize that the future will begin coming at you sooner than you think – like tomorrow. You’d be wise to plan for it today by opening a bank savings account or signing up for your employer’s retirement savings plan. After all, the more time you have, the more you can invest and the longer your investment has the potential to grow.
You’re 26 – 35
Remember when you started out on your own and vowed to save more money? How’s that going? Many things in your life keep you from investing more: credit card debt, vacations, cars, maybe starting a family. The spending list is endless, but the time you have to invest for retirement isn’t. If you haven’t already, investigate your employer’s 401k or similar retirement savings plan.
You’re 36 – 45
Now’s probably the busiest time in your life. You may be managing a career and family – and list of things keeping you from investing more for your retirement has only grown in the last few years. Although time is still on our side, you have 15 or more years before retirement. It’s time to seriously focus on retirement planning. If you’re saving for retirement through your employer’s 401k plan, your investment portfolio has the opportunity to grow tax-deferred for some two decades.
You’re 46 – 55
No one wants to have to work during their retirement. But time is starting to work against you. If you’re not currently investing for your retirement, it’s time to get busy with an action plan.
You’re 56 or older with little or no investments for retirement
If you are not currently investing for your retirement, it’s time to get serious. You may need to make a lifestyle change now or you’ll be experiencing a much different lifestyle in retirement than you expected.
You’re 56 or older with a fair amount of investments for retirement
You may have a good start on your retirement investments, but it’s time to hone in of what lies just over the near horizon.
A few points to consider
- Financial experts estimate you’ll need 126 percent of your current income to maintain your lifestyle in retirement
- With people living longer, you may spend 20 or more years in retirement
- Income from your deferred-compensation plan can supplement your Social Security and pension
Keep in mind assets withdrawn from a qualified plan may be subject to a 10% penalty tax if withdrawn prior to age 591/2, and all may be subject to income tax.
Take the next step
Now that you’re thinking about your retirement future and what you should consider at each stage in life, remember that you don’t have to be a financial expert to take action. You don’t even have to do it by yourself.