Even though 20 years of the average American’s life will be spent in retirement, most of us have not taken the time to figure out what we need to support ourselves during those years. If residents of Laguna Beach stay true to the national average, about 30 percent of them do not take advantage of retirement plans, such as a 401(k), offered by their employers.
We can turn those statistics around. Here are 10 things we can start in December 2015 that will prepare us for retirement.
Figure out what we need for retirement
The numbers can be frightening. We could need up to 90 percent of our current income in order to keep up the standard of living we now enjoy. Once we figure out our expected expenses, we can compare them to our anticipated income sources.
Set goals and start saving
Setting our retirement nest egg goal is just the beginning and must be coupled with regular contributions to a savings plan through automatic deductions from our paychecks.
Contribute to a retirement plan
One of the biggest mistakes we can make is not contributing to a retirement plan at work. It’s easy to set up automatic contributions.
Don’t forget about pension plans
We forget, sometimes, that come employers or unions have pension plans for their employees. It is important for us to know our plan offerings and if we are covered.
Review investment strategies
If we have an investment plan, then we’re ahead of the game. Taking a look at it periodically to make sure it is diversified enough to protect us against inflation and other economic influences is important in retirement planning.
Smart choices when changing jobs
There could be tax penalties for withdrawing money from a retirement plan when changing jobs. It is better to roll the funds over into the plan offered by a new employer.
Getting a plan started
If an employer does not have a retirement plan, there is no reason we cannot suggest that one be started.
Let’s not forget about IRAs
Individual Retirement Accounts are a good option into which we can deposit up to $5,500.
Keeping track of Social Security benefits
It is possible to estimate how much we will receive in Social Security benefits at retirement through the Social Security Administration website.
Seek professional advice
The best way to find out if our retirement planning is on the right track is to get advice from a professional financial planner or banker. If you are ready to talk to someone who can help, call Bart Zandbergen CFP® at (949) 297-8318 or visit his website.