Routing #314977324      

Financial Wellness Tip 10: Plan for Retirement

by | Mar 16, 2023 | Education

Couple Painting House

It’s never too early – or too late – to start planning for your retirement. However, the more time you allow for your savings to grow, the bigger the nest egg you’ll have when it’s time to cash in.

Here’s how to get started on planning your retirement.


Set a target number

First, determine how much you’ll need to have saved for living comfortably and independently throughout your retirement. Experts advise taking your current living expenses and multiplying the number by 400 to identify the amount you’ll need to sustain yourself based on a 4% return.


Choose your retirement account strategy

Next, you’ll need to select a place to keep your retirement savings. There are many options to consider, some of which you may already have if you are, or have been, employed. Here’s a quick review of the two most common retirement accounts:

  1. 401(k)

If you’re employed, you likely have a 401(k) that’s working toward collecting money for your retirement. Take advantage of this retirement tool by maximizing your contributions. Also, many employers match a portion of (or all) contributions you make, which is basically free money, to help your retirement savings grow, tax-deferred.

  1. IRA

There are two popular kinds of Individual Retirement Plans (IRA): conventional IRAs and Roth IRAs. A conventional IRA will let your money grow, tax-deferred, but withdrawals are taxable. A Roth IRA does not feature tax-deferred growth, but qualified withdrawals are not taxed. Like a 401(k), some employers match a portion of (or all) contributions. But, there are federal limits on how much money you are allowed to add to your IRA each year.


The table below shows a brief summary of the pros and cons of each retirement vehicle for easy comparison.

Features 401(k) IRA Roth IRA
Matching Funds Yes No No
Tax-Deductible Yes Depends on income, tax-filing status & other factors No
Tax-Deferred Growth Yes Yes No
Taxable Withdrawals Yes Yes No
Maximum Yearly Contribution (2022) $20,500 $6,000 $6,000
Maximum Yearly Contribution Age 50+ (2022) $27,000 $7,000 $7,000


After you’ve identified the retirement fund strategy that best works for your goals, you’ll also need to choose somewhere to invest the money. Low-risk investment vehicles, such as federal bonds or trust funds, are usually the best choice.


Select a target date fund

If you are saving for retirement through the use of a 401(k), be sure to check if your employer offers a target date fund. This refers to your planned retirement date. You’ll know your employer offers a target date fund if there’s a calendar year in the name of the fund, such as “B.K. Holdings Retirement 2055 Fund”. Simply determine an estimated guess of the year you intend to retire, and then pick the fund with the date closest to your anticipated retirement date.

A target date fund is a smart choice because it spreads the money in your 401(k) across many asset classes, such as large-company stocks, small-company stocks, bonds, and emerging-market stocks. Then, as you near the target date, the fund becomes more conservative, owning fewer stocks and more bonds, automatically reducing your risks as you near the date of your retirement.


With a bit of work and a lot of planning, you’ll have your future secured in the best way possible.

Skip to content