How can make sure my retirement years will be financially comfortable?
To make the most of your retirement years, it’s important that you start saving now. Social Security may only cover about 20% of your retirement income, and personal savings will be required to meet your remaining needs. Every month, you should invest a portion of your income in your future, even if it’s only a few dollars. As your retirement age gets closer, you can set aside a higher percentage of your income for retirement in a tax-advantaged plan. The earlier you start, the more likely you will enjoy the benefits of compounding. And as safe as your money would be in a piggy bank or under your mattress, investing your funds could allow you to do much more with your retirement years.
Do I need a retirement savings strategy?
What do you plan on doing when you retire? This affects how much you will need to budget for your retirement. Retirees tend to spend more than they expect with exciting vacations and new hobbies. A good way to plan for your future is to keep a journal for a few months of every dollar you spend. This will help you to determine whether your goal budget is feasible or not.
Also, make sure you understand the Social Security and Medicare benefits that you will receive after retirement. Contact the Social Security Administration to receive a printout of your account which will show you how much you can expect to receive after retirement.
- Use the Retirement Planner calculator to help create your retirement strategy.
- Use the Retirement Pension Planner calculator to include pension income in your retirement strategy.
- Use the Retirement Income calculator to estimate how much monthly income your retirement savings may provide.
Remember, once you put the money into your retirement account, don’t plan on taking it out until retirement. While it can be used for emergency purposes should they arise*, it’s best for you to forget it’s there. That way, once retirement comes, you can be assured that you have some savings to fall back on.
*Withdrawals of pre-tax contributions and/or earnings may be subject to ordinary tax and, if taken prior to age 59 1/2, may be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty. In certain Internal Revenue Service (IRS) approved situations, you may take early withdrawals from an IRA with no penalty.
What type of retirement account should I choose?
Company plans such as 401(k)s offer simple opportunities to build up your retirement funds. You can contribute directly from your salary, on a pre-tax basis. The gains, interest, or dividends made on the contributions is also tax-deferred until withdrawal from the account. Investigate your employer’s plan benefits and find out how much you can contribute.
- Use the Retire 401(k) calculator to estimate your 401(k) savings at retirement age.
Another common personal entry into retirement savings is through an Individual Retirement Account. A big benefit of investing in an IRA rather than other investment accounts is that the earnings you make on your investments are tax deferred, which allows your money to grow faster than it would in a similar taxable account. There are two different types of IRAs, and both are easy to open.
A Traditional IRA allows your assets to grow tax-deferred, and you don’t pay taxes on your earnings until withdrawal. Contributions are often tax-deductible for many users as well. You are eligible if either you or your spouse has earned income.
Many investors are choosing the alternative Roth IRA, with the advantage being that your investment earnings may completely escape taxation.* You are eligible if either you or your spouse has earned income and if your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) has not exceeded certain limits.
*A qualified distribution from a Roth IRA is tax-free and penalty-free. To be considered a qualified distribution, the 5-year aging requirement has to be satisfied and you must be age 59 1/2 or older or meet one of several exemptions (disability, qualified first-time home purchase, or death among them).
- Use the Traditional IRA calculator to estimate your Traditional IRA savings at retirement age.
- Use the Roth IRA calculator to estimate your Roth IRA savings at retirement age.
- Compare Roth IRA vs. Traditional IRA
Whatever kind of life you imagine for yourself in retirement, saving now will help you to get there. Even if you can only invest a small amount each month, it will go a long way toward making your retirement dreams come true.
How can I prepare for a secure retirement?
Whether you’re just starting your career, or have been working steadily for years, our Wealth Management professionals can help you make the most of your retirement years. We can manage a tax-deferred account, such as an IRA to help build your retirement fund. At the same time, you can be confident that your retirement arrangement will be kept up to date with applicable tax laws and regulations. Whether you choose the investments yourself or have us invest for you, we have the tools and expertise you need to help achieve your retirement goals.
How can I get started?
It’s never too early to start planning for a secure retirement. The best place to start is talking with a professional. First Mid has a team of Financial Advisors who are available to discuss your retirement goals with you and develop a strategy you’ll be able to live with – now and during retirement. To get started, you can call us toll free at 800-546-5721 or find an advisor in your area:
If you own a business and want to explore options for providing your employees with retirement benefits, click here to learn more about our Employer Retirement Services.
Interactive calculators are provided as self-help tools for your independent use and are not intended to replace investment advice. We cannot and do not guarantee their applicability or accuracy in regards to your individual circumstances. All calculator examples are hypothetical and are for illustrative purposes. You should seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding all personal finance issues.
Keep in mind that investing involves risk. The value of your investment will fluctuate over time, and you may gain or lose money. This information is intended to be educational and is not tailored to the investment needs of any specific investor.
Raymond James does not provide legal or tax advice. The information herein is general in nature and should not be considered legal or tax advice. Consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific situation.
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