Here is a checklist to follow as you start putting things in motion for retirement. This will help you stay on track with your goals and ensure you’re not missing anything important.
- Contribute to Your 401(k) and IRA
If you’re like most, your 401(k) and IRA are your best options for retirement savings. Most people tend to earn the most in their 20s, 30s and 40s, so it's important to start contributing when you’re young. This gives you more time to compound your savings and have a bigger nest egg for retirement.
- Check Your Social Security Benefits
While there is some hesitation about the future state of Social Security, it’s not going away any time soon. We recommend checking your statement and benefits on the Social Security Administration website. It’s a good idea to make sure you’re receiving full credit for all of your earnings.
- Take Inventory of Your Retirement Accounts
You might have multiple retirement plans from your previous jobs. Now is a great time to make sure you have a list of these old plans. All too often we see people with old pensions and old 401(k) plans that have been left with old employers. They’re probably small accounts, but they can still add up!
- Factor in Your Other Assets
You have other financial resources that will count toward your retirement such as taxable investment accounts, annuities, life insurance with cash value and stock options. You may also be expecting an inheritance from your parents or grandparents, though we do not recommend using this as a retirement asset because things can happen.
- Determine How Much You’ll Need to Retire
You’ve probably thought about this before, but now it’s time to really start thinking about how you plan to live in retirement. Do you plan on downsizing? Living debt free? Traveling the world? All of these factors will influence the money you need to save. To help you out, use a retirement calculator to find out if your plans are realistic or not.
While this is not an exhaustive checklist, it does get you thinking about retirement and how to get everything in place. Because things rarely go as planned, it helps to work with a financial planner who can help you plan for unforeseen events while also protecting your retirement. Contact Leonard Financial Solutions to speak with a financial planning expert.