I remember when I got that first notice that stated how much money I’d be getting from Social Security. I was 16 and had just finished a summer of working my first “real” job. I got the notice and thought “is this really enough to retire on?” The amount seemed small, too small to cover “basic” costs like rent, food, utilities, etc. With the future of Social Security up in the air, it’s more important than ever to start planning for retirement as soon as you can.
If you haven’t taken the time to calculate how much you’d need to live the retirement lifestyle you want, you can use Genworth Financial’s Easy Budget Calculator to help get an idea of how well your current retirement income will cover your living costs. Genworth Financial offers financial security and protection services through insurance options, retirement solutions, and more.
Stepping through the Easy Budget Calculator allows me to enter in my basic “must-haves”, such as housing and groceries, along with my “nice to haves”, like travelling to New Zealand (I wish) or dining out. Then it compares it to my income from Social Security, pensions, 401(k)s, and any other income and let’s me know whether I have a gap between how much I will spend versus how much money will be coming in. Once you see how much you need for retirement, you can help work out the best “plan of savings” for your retirement. This list of 10 things you need to know as you plan for retirement is a great place to get started.
The best way to secure financial security for retirement is to start saving and start planning for retirement as soon as you can. I started my retirement planning with my first job out of college. The company I worked for not only had a 401(k) plan but also offered matching contributions for that 401(k) plan.
If your company offers matching for your 401(k), you absolutely want to max out on your contributions if your budget allows. Typically a company will match the first x% of contributions which is essentially FREE money going right into your retirement plan. All you want to do is make sure you contribute at least the matching percentage to get as much free money as you can.
If you haven’t started your retirement planning yet, it’s not too late. Any money you save now is something you can use down the road. Like 401(k)s, IRAs offer some tax advantages if you’re able to contribute anything into them. Annuities are another investment option for supplementing your retirement income.
Whether it’s throwing a few dollars into a jar each day, or sitting down with a financial advisor to map out a financial strategy, planning for your retirement now can help make retiring much easier.
Have you done any “retirement” planning?