Are you in the homestretch of your career? Can you see retirement on the horizon? If so, you may already be dreaming about vacations, golf outings and time spent relaxing at home.
It’s hard not to look ahead when retirement is so close. However, you also may want to use this period to nail down the final steps of your retirement planning. The last few years of your career may be your last opportunity to boost your savings, minimize your costs or help protect yourself against risk.
Below are a few steps to consider before you head into retirement. If you haven’t yet taken these steps or even developed a retirement strategy, now may be the time to do so. A financial professional can help you implement these steps and others so you can enjoy a long, financially secure retirement.
Is retirement approaching? Feel like you don’t have enough saved? According to a Gallup survey, you’re not the only one. The survey found that more than 50 percent of Americans are worried about not having enough money for retirement. In fact, retirement is Americans’ top financial concern.1
Another study indicates those concerns may be justified. Research from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found that baby boomers have a median retirement savings balance of $147,000.2 That number may represent a good start, but it’s unlikely to be enough to fund a long retirement.
Fortunately, you may be able to get your retirement back on track if you take quick action. If you don’t have a catch-up plan in place, now may be the time to develop and implement one. A financial professional can help you create your strategy.
Do you want to retire early? You’re not alone. Many Americans dream of retiring in their 50s or even 40s. Early retirement can give you the opportunity to travel, explore new hobbies or even pursue a second career.
Unfortunately, early retirement can be a challenging goal. According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of Americans are concerned about having enough money to retire at all, let alone at an early age.1
If you plan ahead and stay disciplined, however, you can potentially retire early. Below are three rules to remember as you develop your early retirement strategy. It’s important to create a plan that’s unique to your specific needs and goals. A financial professional can help you implement the right strategy for you.
Since its inception in the 1970s, the IRA has become one of the most popular available retirement savings vehicles. Americans hold nearly $2.5 trillion in individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Those nearing retirement, between the ages of 60 and 64, have an average of $165,139 in their IRA.1 If you’re like many Americans, you’ll rely on your IRA for a significant portion of your retirement income.
One of the biggest reasons traditional IRAs are popular is their favorable tax treatment. You can take a tax deduction for your contributions to a traditional IRA. All IRAs also offer tax-deferred growth. That means you don’t pay taxes on your gains as long as the funds stay inside the account.
Have you prepared a projected budget for your retirement? If so, that’s a good first step toward planning your retirement income strategy. Your budget can help you determine how much income you may need and whether you’re on track to reach your goals. You can also use your budget to adjust your spending as needed.
Your budget probably includes things such as housing, groceries, travel, dining, clothes, utilities and much more. You may be able to estimate these costs based on your current spending and your plans for the future.
Feel like you’re behind on your retirement savings? You’re not alone. According to a recent study from the Economic Policy Institute, the average family between the ages of 44 and 49 has only $81,437 saved for retirement. That number is $124,831 for those between ages 50 and 55 and $163,577 between ages 56 and 61.1 While those numbers might represent a good start, it’s fair to say they’re not sufficient to fund a long retirement.
Fortunately, you can take action to catch up. You may have to make some adjustments to your plans and vision, but you can still be able to fund an enjoyable retirement. Below are a few tips to get you started. The longer you wait, the more challenging your retirement might be.
Are you thinking about retiring early? Maybe you’ve accumulated enough savings to retire in your 50s. Or maybe you’re facing a health issue or job loss that’s pushing you into retirement. No matter the reason, early retirement can present a number of unique challenges.
One of the biggest issues that early retirees face is taking distributions from their qualified retirement accounts, such as IRAs and 401(k) plans. These accounts are tax-deferred, which means there are no taxes on growth as long as the funds stay inside the account. However, distributions may be taxed as income. Additionally, if you withdraw funds from a 401(k) or an IRA before age 59½, you could face a 10 percent early distribution penalty.
Are you one of the millions of Americans hoping to retire early? Many people not only want to retire—they want to do so while they’re still young enough to be active and to enjoy some of their biggest goals in life. With focus, discipline and detailed planning, you can make it happen.
Even if you don’t plan on retiring early, it still makes sense to consider the possibility. Many retirees are forced to retire earlier than they would like because of medical issues or job loss. If this happens to you, a contingency plan could help you better manage the situation.
It’s difficult enough to accumulate assets to fund a normal retirement, but it’s even harder to save when you retire early. An early retirement means fewer years to save and more years of spending that have to be funded with your own assets.
Do you use an employer-sponsored 401(k) as your primary retirement savings vehicle? You’re not alone. Since its inception, the 401(k) has quickly become a popular employee benefit, and it has largely replaced the pension as the top employer-sponsored retirement plan.
A 401(k) can be a powerful retirement accumulation vehicle for a few reasons. One is its tax treatment. A 401(k) plan is tax-deferred. That means you don’t pay taxes on the growth as long as the funds stay inside the plan. That tax deferral may help your funds accumulate at a faster rate than they would in a taxable account.
Do you own a traditional IRA but think a Roth may be a better option? You’re not alone. The Roth IRA has become an increasingly popular savings vehicle. That popularity is driven largely by its unique tax treatment, which allows you to take tax-free distributions in retirement and leave a tax-free asset for your loved ones.
Not everyone can contribute to a Roth IRA, however. Roth contributions are governed by income limits. If you’re a high earner, you likely haven’t been able to put money in a Roth. The traditional IRA doesn’t have income limits for contributions. Your traditional IRA contributions may not be deductible if you have high income, but that doesn’t mean you can’t contribute.
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