4 Easy Ways to Start Planning for Retirement

Retirement may seem a long way away. For some, it may seem like a pipe dream.

But there will be a day when you will want to retire from the work world, and the only way that is going to happen is if you begin planning now.

While most of the preparation for retirement involves finance questions, there are other matters that should be taken into consideration as well. Family concerns play a role in when and how you retire.

The first step in retirement planning is to figure out where you are in your retirement planning right now.

If you are invested in your company’s employee-sponsored defined contribution plan (a 401K or other such vehicle), then you have started a retirement plan. But that account is not just a depository for funds you and your employer provide.

Start investing

The money is invested in mutual funds. You can talk to an advisor who works with the firm that manages that account to determine if your funds are being invested in a manner you like. Take an active interest in the funds you are already allotting to your retirement.

The second step is to look at your current finances and consider how you are spending money now. Many people who have a consistent income do not create an actual budget for their finances, and eventually come to realize they should have done so a long time ago.

Any budget you create can have a spot assigned for funds you want to put away for retirement. Create that budget now, or if you have one already, reassess it to make sure you are planning properly for future needs.

There are websites available that offer free retirement planning guidance, and the U.S. government provides several. Those sites also provide information on ways the government provides for a healthy retirement for its citizens.  

The third step to creating a retirement plan is to decide what retirement means to you. If you think retirement means resting, then you may not need a huge sum in your retirement account. But if retirement means cutting loose and traveling the world, then that account needs to be growing every day. 

Keep in mind that if you have a successful career, your retirement could come at a time when you have decades of life ahead of you. Life expectancy in the United States continues to extend as medical services improve, and you might have 20 years or more looking ahead from the day you retire. 

The fourth step is to invest a portion of your retirement funds in accounts which provide income when you retire or reach a certain age.

Tax-deferred retirement accounts such as Roth IRAs are designed to create a retirement fund you cannot touch (without the severe tax penalty) until you need it, and creates actual income in retirement.

As you put funds into an IRA or an annuity, those accounts actually create more income for you to use down the line. 

If these instructions seem complicated, there are professionals who can assist you with making the proper plans for retirement. It is possible to talk to a financial advisor as a one-time conversation about the choices you should make in order to make your retirement a successful one.

That professional will take into consideration all that you already have in place, products that could create additional income in retirement, and your eventual Social Security  payments to develop a plan that can give you an actual dollar figure on what your retirement fund will look like when you need it. 

pot stock

Pot Stock ‘Blood in the Streets’ Buy Signal Is Here

The cannabis market has been a volatile space in recent years. A wave in legalization, particularly in Canada but also through parts of the United States, led to significant growth

Use Options as Portfolio Insurance in Rocky Times

Since the beginning of September we have seen the main U.S. indices drop. There are a number of possible reasons for the decline, but more importantly I expect the increased

4 Foreign Countries Where You Can Retire On Social Security Alone

Someone once said that retirement is not the end of the road but a highway opening to a new chapter in life. Whoever said that clearly has never experienced a

We’re Beating the Index Off the March Low: Update

The Bulletproof Wealth Report model portfolio is continuing to perform well and is now up 27.4% since the inception of our monthly newsletter on April 13, 2018. Although the value

Terrible Tuesday: Fed’s Powell Says U.S. Faces Slow, Uncertain Recovery

Powell testifies before Congress today. We already know what he's going to say though, as his testimony is pre-released. Not that that will stop the market from acting shocked when

5 Best Online Banks, Highest Savings Rates for Your Buck

Finding an online bank can be difficult. Varying rates, hidden fees and simply having too many choices can cause confusion and make it hard to get started. Set aside some

Hiring a Financial Advisor: What Is a Fiduciary, and Why Should You Care?

“Fiduciary” is a funny word. You may have never heard of it until now, but you may actually have had a fiduciary in your life. More importantly, you may wish

Trading Cryptocurrency Using Limit and Stop Orders

This is the last of a five-part series to help new investors and traders start and grow a cryptocurrency account. In all five articles I’ve been using Bitcoin (BTC) in

3 Cheap ETFs Combine to Create a Powerful Value Stock Opportunity

As I steadily increase my overall equity exposure to a measurable value bias, I do so using just three passive ETFs that are consistently near the top of their respective

Options: This ETF Could Bring a Triple-Digit Gain as the Economy Gains Steam

If we go back to February 19, when the S&P 500 peaked at what was an all-time high at the time, the market has gone through five phases since then.

dividend stock investing

Make Money While You Sleep with Dividend Stock Investing

Famed investor Warren Buffett once said, "If you don't find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die." Dividend stock investing is a exactly

5 Ways to Slash Your Food Spending and Save Money

The average American spends up to 10 percent of their disposable income on food, according to the USDA. Things are likely different due to the coronavirus, but the typical divide