Retirement Planning: The Five Most Important Steps

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Tax breaks, stock market behavior, the ever-fluctuating 401(k) & IRA rates; understanding these crucial sectors of your retirement plan can mean the difference between

comfort and financial woes in your later years. Finding the best IRA rates is helpful to those who seek an early retirement age.

Being prudent with your comprehensive retirement planning goes a long way. The systems for saving for retirement are well entrenched with 401(k) employer plans, pension funds, CD’s, and personal IRA saving accounts. These are the most common investment tools and following a few other simple steps can also make a big difference.

Step 1 – Look after your best interests

Saving some money is of benefit to any individual, and investing a percentage of earnings when the paycheck is received is the easiest way to steadily build savings. Putting some money away regularly ensures that it is not wasted on things that are not really needed. Making regular payments into a 401(K) is a wise investment choice, as the employer may also contribute to the fund.

Step 2 – take advantage of tax breaks

Ensuring that all tax breaks are fully exploited is important. The employer deals with the administration of a 401(K) so the worker never needs to deal with the IRS as all the tax benefits are applied automatically.

Step 3 – calculate your likely needs in retirement

An essential part of retirement planning is to work out what funds will be needed to make that extra leisure time enjoyable. Money for bills and other expenses will not just somehow materialize; forced expenditure must be accounted for. Social security payments are available but are not ideal for those that anticipate a very comfortable lifestyle during retirement. As a guide a person contemplating retirement should aim to have a plan in place providing 70% of their former annual earnings.

Step 4 – do not rely on the stock market

Taking an interest in stock markets and investments in the hope of making a large amount of money at the last minute to fund retirement is not often effective. Retirement planning should mean expecting the worst from funds and not taking unnecessary investment risks.

Step 5 – adopt the behavior of a pension manager

Check funds regularly to see if they are still performing well and make adjustments as and when needed. Always stay informed about the way the plan is working so that changes can be made with confidence.


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