Retirement Planning Strategies

If you’re nowhere near Social Security’s official “full retirement age” (which is currently 67 if you were born in 1960 or later), thinking about retirement planning may seem like something you can easily put off for awhile.

After all, there are probably more pressing things to think about right now. Like the bills you’ve got to pay, the holidays, vacations, new furniture, the kids’ schooling, etc.

The only problem with that is, time flies, and it’ll be time to retire before you know it.

(OK, maybe you abhor the idea of retiring and plan on working forever. Life doesn’t always go as planned though, so you may want to consider a Plan B, C, or D — just in case.)

Learning about the various retirement planning strategies is one area that I definitely need to work on. (For example, did you know that there are various social security strategies for married couples that can be used? I had no idea.)

In general though, the most critical thing is to start your planning, continually set aside money for retirement, and then never touch it until you actually retire.

The strategies you use will depend on how far away you are from possible retirement, your expenses, the tax bracket you expect to be in, what you expect to be able to do once you’ve retired, and how long you believe you might live. (With so many variables to consider, getting professional, customized advice is a great idea when it comes to planning for retirement.)

Meanwhile, here are a few government resources that may get you thinking:


  • Our current strategy is to invest mainly automatically and cross our fingers that 20-30% a year will be enough 30 years down the road. :-)

    • That’s pretty much my strategy too, although I hope to retire a whole lot sooner than that. It seems to me that there’s more to look into too though. This is one topic I need to research more.

  • Jackie,

    You may want to check out Blackrock’s social security tool. It takes into account your SS estimates and your husband’s and tries to optimize when and whose SS is taken. I don’t have the link in front of me but if you want to see it shoot me an email

  • I’m in the same boat. We’re contributing to our 401k’s, but we’ve never really put a plan together or figured how much we need. It’s so easy to just leave it all there faaarr in the future.

  • Wow! Thanks for the list of resources!

  • Thank you for these great resources! The hardest part for me is not touching those funds, because, as you mentioned many situations can happen. Seeking for pro help does help, knowing your facts and benefits (like the SS one, I didn’t know either) and even asking your friends who are also planning for this stage in life.

  • Blue Spyder

    I’m ready to stash 50% a year away into a Sep-IRA next year, I’m gonna try for the next 5 years to put every dime I can into retirement and live bare minimum.