When we think about financial security, we generally think about what we have in liquid savings or making sure our home and auto insurance coverage fits our needs. Retirement planning is a crucial step in the process. Today we’ll discuss a little about the importance of making sure we’re saving and investing enough so we’ll have the money we need to retire and care for ourselves in the future. Financial planning is about knowing what assets you have, how to access them when you need them, and having enough for both you and your spouse.
Here are some basic tips to get your started in the right direction:
- Are you currently contributing to your 401(k)? Having a savings account is great, but a 401(k) allows you to save tax deferred- maximizing earnings in the long term. There are a few key things to know about your 401(k). The first being, does your employer match your contributions? For example, if your employer says they match 100% of 6%, then you need to be contributing at least 6%. Basically, they’re saying that they will match, dollar for dollar, what you contribute to your 401(k) up to 6%. Not contributing is like throwing away money that the company is willingly giving you. So save at least what the company will contribute.
- Do you have an old 401(k)s lingering somewhere? Any job you’ve ever left is something to look into. Even if you never contributed to a 401(k), it’s possible that a 401(k) was opened on your behalf and contributed to by the company you worked for. List out all the old jobs you’ve ever held and find out if you had a 401(k) with them. There are a variety of ways to accomplish this, but the easiest way may be to simply contact your old HR group and ask them who the 401(k) record keeper is. If it’s a company, like Fidelity Investments, you can just call them up and ask for information over the phone.
- If you have money in an old 401(k) move it to a safe location, like an IRA, or your current 401(k) if the plan rules allow, so that that you have control over how it’s invested and you have easy access to information about it. Contact us for more information on what the best plan of action for your 401(k) would be.
- Social Security and Medicare are political buzzwords, but if you’re an older worker, knowing how much you qualify for and when the best time to take it is important. Should you take it at 62, or delay until 70? A lot of when you decide to take it depends on what kind of savings you already have, including pensions, annuities, or just a savings account. To start, you can request an estimate of your benefits from the Social Security office.
So whether you’re winding down your professional career, or just getting started, contact us so we can create a tailored approach to your retirement future. You can’t take a loan to retire, so be prepared so you can enjoy your retirement and have the money you need to live the way you’ve been dreaming 0f.