Building A Secure Future Through Retirement Planning

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Planning for retirement is a crucial part of your life and career. Whether you are young – or not so young – you have to be sure to take the proper measures to ensure your financial future. It’s never too late to start, but you have to start now. The 401(k) A 401(k) is a great savings tool and a good way to start saving for your retirement, no matter what stage of retirement planning you are in. If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, you can have a pre-determined amount of money automatically withdrawn from your paycheck and deposited in your 401 (k) account. Most employers have 401 (k) ‘matching’ - where the employer will match every dollar you invest into your 401(k) account with an amount, usually from .50 to $1. Perhaps the best part of investing in a 401(k) account is that you are not charged any taxes on the money until you actually withdraw it as you begin your retirement. Most 401(k) plans offer first-time homebuyers the option to borrow against their 401(k) for a down payment. However, keep in mind that if you make any withdrawals before retirement for any reason, you will have to pay a penalty of 10% to the IRS. Therefore, you should only borrow against your 401(k) as a last resort. If You Are Nearing Retirement If you are nearing retirement, three factors that you need to keep in mind are that you can accrue social security benefits, savings, investments and lastly, pensions after retirement. If you want to take advantage of these, you need to apply for these retirement benefits at least three months in advance. At the same time, you may want to sign up for Medicare, which will help you meet your healthcare expenses. Evaluate and determine your retirement needs in order to maintain the same standard of living that you have now. Find out if you are entitled to benefits from your employer’s pension or profit sharing plan. Sign up and contribute as much as you can, if your employer offers a tax sheltered savings plan like the 401(k). Keep depositing money into your IRA account, where it can grow, tax-free. Make financial security your priority though proper strategic planning so that you can retire without worrying that you may not have enough money to last throughout your golden years. Just Starting Out To Midlife Successful financial planning for retirement requires careful and calculated planning on your part. Your savings and social security income are surely not going to last for a lifetime – and there’s talk whether social security will even be around at all. With this in mind, the best way to financially prepare for retirement is to start saving today so that you will have a more secure tomorrow. And you can easily accomplish this through diversified investing. Today’s financial market has various options available, starting from US Treasury bonds to stocks to mutual funds. If you are younger, say in your 20’s or early 30’s, then you may want to have more aggressive investments. People in their mid 30’s to late 40’s or 50’s may want a more moderate-risk portfolio. The key point to remember with any investment is - the higher the returns, the higher the risks. No matter what your age is, you should seek the help of a financial planner, accountant or stockbroker who can counsel and guide you in the right direction. When it comes to retirement planning, the sooner you get started, the better off you’ll be.

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