Retirement Quick Tips

  1. Get the match.
    •  If you do absolutely nothing else, at least contribute enough to your 401k to receive your employer’s match. Most employers will match up to 6% of your contribution. Don’t throw away free money! 
  2. Don’t touch it.
    • Avoid early withdrawals! For one it is difficult to rebuild the gains you’ve earned thus far when you borrow against your 401k. Additionally, the penalty for early withdrawals (before 59 and 1/2 years old) is steep–you will pay 10% and income taxes on your withdrawal.
    • The point of your retirement savings is not a place for money you need now. If you find yourself tempted to touch your 401k or are avoiding contributing because you want easy access to that money, reconsider how you can set up your finances to better meet your goals.  
  3. Start early and contribute often.
    • This is key. To accumulate $1 million in savings by retirement age you can contribute $300 monthly starting at age 20 but this number skyrockets to $3000 if you start at age 50 and $14,000 if you start at age 60. Even you could catch up, its likely that later in life expenses like a mortage or children will make this less feasible. So start NOW! 
  4. Rebalance.
    • Things change. Its important to keep your portfolio inline with your investing goals. It’s recommended you rebalance your account every quarter. Don’t want to do it? Check out, they will manage your account for a low cost. 
  5. Seek help
    • You can’t do it all alone. When you’re ready seek help. Most employer plans offer complimentary webinars and financial advisors you can schedule time with. You can also seek a robo-advisor to manage your IRA. Or hire a certified financial advisor if you’d like more comprehensive assistance.
  6. Increase contributions over time.
    • Your income and your expenses will change over time. Increasing your retirement contribution over time until you’ve maxed it out or reach 15% will guarantee that you’re saving the most. Because you’re doing this gradually you’ll feel it less. A rule of thumb is to increase your contribution every time your income increases.
  7. Open an IRA. Maxing out your employer account? Your employer doesn’t offer a 401k? Then open an IRA where you can contribute an additional $5500 towards retirement. I only recommend this you are currently maxing out your tax deferred options.

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