Retirement Planning: Much Better Than a Poke in the Eye
How are your retirement savings coming? I know, that’s probably not the most pressing thing on your mind right now, especially if you are in your twenties or thirties. Or if, you know, you have pretty much anything else to do.
But, that doesn’t mean it’s not important. So take 5 minutes out of your day right now to give it a little thought. Future you will thank you.
Let’s start with some basic questions.
1. Have you started saving for retirement?
If yes, skip to question 2.
If no, read the next paragraph and take action now.
Start now. Really. If you’re eligible for a 401k call up HR and get the forms you need, because you can afford to contribute to your 401k. If you’re not eligible for a 401k, go online (hey, you’re already there) and open a retirement account at someplace like Vanguard. They can almost certainly help you out with what kind. And yes, I know you may not know what to invest in, etc. But START sending some money on a regular basis in anyway — leave it in cash if you must at first — and you’ll have the first step taken care of.
2. Are you saving enough for retirement?
If yes, that’s awesome. Pat yourself on the back and move on to something else.
If no, go increase your contribution amount by at least 1%, and more if you can. Then put a note in your calendar to do it again in six months.
If you’re not sure, join the club. It’s really, really hard to predict the future. But this is a good time to review what you’ve got so far, what you hope to do in retirement, and how your projections have worked out so far. Check out how much do you need to save for retirement for some excellent points & links to various calculators.
3. Are you getting close to retirement?
If yes, make sure you’ve got all your ducks in a row. Check with Social Security about any benefits you may receive, and with the IRS about any possible Required Minimum Distributions you may need to take.
If no, keep plugging away.
And of course, if you’re already retired, feel free to a comment describing what it’s like.