11 Jun Ready, Set, Go – Retirement?
Chances are, if you’re a woman, you are likely to outlive your male counterpart. Study after study has shown that women live 5 years longer than men on average. This fact prompts many of us to ask questions about our future. When I retire, will I have enough money? Will I have enough for housing, food, travel and health care? And what about inflation, how does that factor into the equation? The more you ask yourself these questions, the scarier the future can seem. However, there are things you can start doing now that will prepare you for retirement and beyond.
Setting the stage for a comfortable retirement involves determining how much you need to save and developing a roadmap to pursue your goals.
There can be a lot to consider when planning for retirement, but one thing is for sure—it’s never too early to start saving. The benefit of compound interest could be enhanced for workers who start saving early in their careers. People who wait until they are older to save have less time on their side and will typically have to invest much more of their incomes to achieve the same result.
First, if your employer offers a 401K plan with a match, TAKE IT. This means that your employer will match the amount that you contribute to your plan up to a certain percentage. Getting matching contributions is like giving yourself an extra pay raise! Employer 401(k)s also have much higher annual contribution limits ($18,500 for all accounts combined in 2018 or $24,500 if you are age 50 or older). The earlier you begin to contribute and take advantage of the match, the better. If your employer does not offer a match, you may want to consider a different retirement tool.
Next, consider additional retirement savings options. Roth IRAs and Traditional IRAs are specialized savings accounts that can help you save for retirement and potentially save on your taxes.
If you are not certain what makes a Traditional IRA different from a Roth IRA, I will try to summarize here. Contributing to a traditional IRA may offer a current-year tax benefit by reducing taxable income. However, distributions — including any earnings — are taxed as ordinary income. By contrast, contributions to a Roth IRA are made with after-tax dollars, so there is no current-year tax advantage. However, distributions — including any earnings — are free from federal income tax as long as they meet certain conditions. Since there are special rules around withdrawing from these accounts, I always recommend that you speak with a professional before you start investing. I hope these details made it easier to understand the differences (not harder), which leads me to my final point.
Meet with a financial advisor.
A financial advisor is trained to look at your financial health and recommend products and services that will prepare you for the future. It’s recommended you meet with an advisor annually to make any necessary adjustments, especially if you’ve gone through a major life event such as marriage, birth of a child, or a job change. When you are ready to take the next step, let Consumers Credit Union help you. Our CFS* financial advisors are ready to meet with you and provide strategies to help fit your ever-changing needs. We will review your finances at no cost or obligation, explain your investment options, and help you find the right products for your financial goals and dreams.
Don’t put it off any longer. You owe it to yourself to have a plan for peace of mind when you retire. Make your appointment today!
Michele Chaney with Special Thanks to Brian Akers
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Consumers Credit Union
12705 Riley Street and
1037 Washington Avenue in Holland
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This information is not intended as tax, legal, investment, or retirement advice or recommendations, and it may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. You are encouraged to seek advice from an independent professional advisor. The content is derived from sources believed to be accurate. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.
* Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (“CFS”), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. Consumers Credit Union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members.