Retirement Income Planning: Begin from Where You Are

Many people put off their retirement income planning because they want to avoid thinking about aging. Yet most of us are old enough to know that putting off this necessary task is rarely a good strategy.

Retirement Income Solutions Are Within Reach

Getting started with your retirement planning can often be the hardest part as the process can seem overwhelming. To make it more manageable, let’s break it down and look at three common retirement income funds, including a 401k plan, an IRA plan, and social security.

What if anything have you done so far to put money away for retirement? Do you have a 401k or an IRA account that’s quietly sitting and growing? Are you planning on relying on social security income? Knowing where you currently stand is crucial to piecing together a more comprehensive retirement plan.

Optimizing Your 401k Retirement Savings

Optimizing Your 401k Retirement Savings

Most corporate employers today offer 401k plans as part of their benefits package. As the employee, you typically get to decide on the type of investment, from conservative to more aggressive. You also get to decide (to a point) how much of your earnings you can put into your 401k. Some employers may offer a match in contributing retirement income funds to your plan. If so, it may be a good idea to take advantage of this contribution as it’s like free money for your retirement.

Other Retirement Income Solutions Include an IRA Plan

If you are a small business owner, you may have an individual retirement plan such as an IRA instead of an employer-sponsored retirement plan. (You may also have both.) An IRA plan tends to allow more latitude in choosing where to invest your money and how conservative or aggressive you want to be. IRA plans, however, do limit how much and how often you can invest in them. Similar to a 401k plan, an IRA has tax benefits and age limits with regard to withdrawing your money.

In addition to IRAs, many people have savings accounts, brokerage accounts (stock dividends), CDs, and more that they plan to use as part of their retirement savings. These options can serve as a good source of supplemental retirement income funds and can be part of your larger retirement income planning.

Does Social Security Count Towards Your Retirement Income Planning?

Does Social Security Count Towards Your Retirement Income Planning?

Social security is likely the type of retirement income planning that you are most familiar with as a portion of each paycheck pays into it. You can start to collect back the money you paid into social security when you enter retirement.

However for most people, social security, which is a taxed income, is often not enough to live comfortably on in retirement. Though social security will contribute towards your retirement planning, it is only a piece of the larger picture.

So when getting started with your retirement income planning, take stock of where you are now and take the next step toward getting on the right track. Your future retired self will thank you!