Are You Ready to Take the First Step in Retirement Planning?
March 30, 2021at9:30 PM
Until it’s happening, retirement always feels in the distant future–whether you’re two years or twenty years from it. Wherever you are in life, think about taking your first step in retirement planning. For you, that may mean anything from opening your first IRA to organizing your accounts to retire in the next five years. The sooner you plan for your post-work life, the more empowered you’ll be to make sure your retirement is everything you want. Whether it’s traveling the world, time with family, enjoying your dream home, or ensuring your loved ones will be cared for after you’re gone.
Take these first steps (at any age) if you haven’t started planning for retirement yet.
The best time to start planning for retirement is when you enter the workforce. But the next best time is right now. The reason is that the earlier you save money in a retirement account, the greater the return on your investment will be when it comes time to retire. Here are a few easy first steps in retirement planning:
Enroll in an employer-sponsored retirement account: if your employer matches contributions for a retirement account, like a 401(K), set your paychecks to auto-deposit the maximum allowance. These accounts come with tax benefits and are an easy, low-effort step you can take.
Open a personal IRA: this type of IRA doesn’t come with the same tax benefits as an employer-sponsored one. However, your retirement will still be well-served by making regular contributions.
Open a high-yield savings account: unlike standard savings, high-yield accounts offer significantly higher interest rates. Attempt to contribute at least 15% of your pre-tax income to your retirement. The later you start saving, the more your monthly contributions should be.
As a general rule, you want ten times your yearly income saved before you retire to carry on the same lifestyle as you had while you’re working.
You’re getting ready to retire soon–now what?
If you’re approaching your retirement date, there are some first steps for retirement planning you can take for a straightforward transition out of the workforce. Retirement is a lifestyle change in a lot of ways. Of course, you have more free time than when you were working, but your monthly income may also change, requiring adjustments in your lifestyle.
Staying on top of your finances will ensure you have enough money throughout retirement, and you’re able to provide for your loved ones after you’re gone.
Define your goals for retirement: do you want to travel the world? Move closer to family? Write a novel? Be specific and prioritize them in order of importance.
Gather your assets: from your retirement accounts to any passive income you receive and social security–get a basic idea of what you’ll be earning post-work.
Make a budget: include the items from your retirement goals in your budget and be honest about what you need to survive in retirement.
A good rule of thumb is the longer you can wait to claim Social Security, the better. There are delayed retirement credits you earn for every year past the full-retirement age you wait to collect.
Also, consider if you can - or want to - keep working in some capacity. Working part-time or as a consultant may mean you can achieve more on your list of retirement goals or make your life more comfortable.
Make OWLFI your first step in retirement planning.
The financial advisor team at OWLFI includes CPAs, attorneys, and financial planners. Together, they design bespoke retirement plans to suit your income, lifestyle, and retirement dreams. OWLFI uses a holistic approach to your retirement, from planning the first step to the first day of your post-work life.