3 retirement planning resources you need to know about
December 28, 2021 at 5:00 AM
A woman guiding another woman through retirement planning resources.

Effective retirement planning is all about having access to the right tools.

You need to know, ideally as early as possible, how you’re going to fund your retirement years. The obvious first step is knowing how much you’ll be spending, but less obvious is how you’re going to build up your savings and a portfolio to provide those funds.

There are a few different ways to go about that, and in this blog post, we’ll be covering three important retirement planning resources that should be part of any strategy, including IRAs, HSAs, and financial advisors.

IRAs

An individual retirement account, or IRA, is what many people contribute a portion of their earnings to over the course of their working years. It’s a tax-advantaged account, meaning there are tax-related benefits associated with contributing to the account and taking money from it once you reach retirement age.

When you contribute money to an IRA, you can invest it into assets like stocks and bonds. The value of the account grows over time, and the more you contribute, the more it’s able to grow. You can only contribute a certain amount to an IRA each year, however, and you can’t withdraw before you’ve reached age 59 ½.

There’s more than just one type of IRA, though. The one you choose may have a significant impact on your overall retirement strategy, as some of the rules vary between the different types of accounts. They include:

  • Traditional: You can contribute a certain amount of money to the account each year, which varies year by year. Tax deductions for account contributions may be limited if you or your spouse has a retirement plan at work and your household reaches a certain income level. If you take money from this account before age 59 ½, you face a 10% penalty and additional taxes.
  • Roth: Contributions aren’t tax-deductible, but withdrawals are tax-free after retirement age.
  • SEP: Contributions are tax-deductible and taxes on investments are deferred until withdrawal. With this type of account, however, you can contribute much larger amounts of money each year than with a traditional or Roth IRA.
  • SIMPLE: Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees IRAs operate similarly to the above description for SEP IRAs. The maximum annual contribution, while lower than with SEP IRAs, is higher than traditional and Roth accounts, and requires employer contributions.

HSAs

Health Savings Accounts, or HSAs, help you save to cover the costs of medical bills. As mentioned in this blog post from OWLFI, they’re tax-advantaged accounts offering tax-deductible contributions, tax exemptions for account earnings, tax-free withdrawals for qualified medical costs, and other benefits.

Having savings in place for unexpected medical costs is important when planning for retirement, as having to take these costs from your emergency savings or retirement portfolio earnings can disrupt your ability to financially handle your retirement.

Financial advisors

Effective retirement planning is something that many people may find complex and time-consuming. Financial advisors can help with that.

It’s best to work with an experienced advisor focused on helping people plan for and manage the financial details of retirement. We’ve written more about some specific ways a financial advisor can help with this here.

Are you prepared for retirement?

The right financial advisor can help strengthen your retirement plan and make your retirement something to look forward to instead of worrying about. At OWLFI, that’s exactly what we’re here to do. Call or email us now to schedule an appointment.

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