By : Emma Sturgis
For you, retirement may be right around the corner or decades away. Regardless of where you are in relation to your retirement, you will need to start preparing. Here are six steps you can take now to help you get started:
1) Figure Out How Much You Will Need
Some of us need a million. Some might need more, some might need less. What will you need? Using an online retirement calculator will help you figure out your magic number today.
2) Save (More) Money
I know you know this, but if you want to retire you need to regularly sock away part of your paycheck. If you aren’t saving, then start with whatever amount you can. If you are already saving, take a hard look at your budget and see where you can cut more.
3) Let Your Employer Help You
Investigate and find out if your employer has a 401K plan you can sign up for. Or, better yet, find out if they have a 401K plan with a matching program. If they will match part of your contributions to your retirement fund, you will reach your retirement goals much sooner.
4) Open an Individual Retirement Account (IRA)
If you are maxing out your 401K, or you don’t have access to one, open an IRA. The maximum you can contribute in one year is $5,500, but it is higher if you are over 50. Both the Traditional IRA and the Roth IRA provide tax advantages, so read up on each or consult a financial adviser.
5) Leave It Alone
With all the cash you have stashed away in your 401K, IRA, and savings accounts, you will start to feel rich. It is going to be tempting to get your hands on your cash or start withdrawing early from your IRA or 401K. Don’t do it! You are going to need that cash sooner or later. Leave it where it is, let it grow, and withdraw when you are truly retired and ready.
6) Get Some Help
Retirement planning can get complicated and confusing, and it can be easy to just not think about it. Don’t fall into this trap. Gerald Nelson, an expert in financial planning in Des Moines representing Spectrum Financial Services in Des Moines, recommends finding an established financial planning service that can help you navigate the planning process. When retirement rolls around, you will be happy you did.
It is never too early to get started planning retirement. Begin with these six steps, and you will be on your way to some happy golden years.