Prior to September 2008, for millions of Americans, retirement preparedness was synonymous with saving money through an employer retirement plan, often becoming the anchor point for a worker’s entire retirement savings strategy.
However, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, more than 2.4 million active 401(k) participants were affected by employers suspending their savings match in the wake of the market decline. Today, employer retirement plans still play a key role in retirement preparation, but comprehensive planning must incorporate numerous considerations.
To help guide consumers in their retirement planning, the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) developed the “Top 10 Ways to Prepare for Retirement.”
“Planning for retirement can be a daunting task, especially given the recent economic climate,” said Insured Retirement Institute President and CEO Cathy Weatherford. “And while by most accounts the financial forecast appears to be improving, millions of Americans have yet to begin preparing for their retirement. Wanting to spend their later years content, secure and financially sound is the goal of anyone thinking about retirement. With some simple steps and strategies, and by reviewing our tips to prepare for retirement, financial freedom can still be achieved.”
Top 10 Ways to Prepare for Retirement:
1. Select a target date for when you want to retire.
2. Calculate how much money you need to accumulate by the time you want to retire.
3. Find out how to maximize your Social Security benefits.
4. Take full advantage of tax-advantaged plans such as employer retirement plans, individual retirement accounts and annuities.
5. If your employer doesn’t have a pension or retirement plan, ask that one be started.
6. Don’t touch your savings for anything but retirement.
7. Diversify your assets and be sure to include guaranteed income for life.
8. Ask questions. Get help. Seek the assistance of a professional financial advisor.
9. Start now, set goals.
10. Do a retirement plan and monitor your progress.
To download a copy of this tip sheet, click here.
This document was reviewed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and was found to be consistent with applicable standards.