Retirement Saving

Retirement saving involves more than just putting money away each month with the hopes that you'll build a nest egg big enough to retire comfortably. Retirement saving requires a strategy best shared with a personal financial consultant to give you the greatest chance of realizing your long-term goals. Your strategy will vary depending on your age, income and desired standard of living after you retire. A certified financial advisor can help you determine how much you need to save to realize your dream lifestyle while also giving you the advice and tools you need to sustain your savings throughout your retirement.

Saving Strategies for your 20s

When you first enter the workforce, saving for the future might seem optional. With decades of work ahead of you, retirement saving can easily seem less important than paying off student loans, furthering your education or even preserving your disposable income. The truth is, paying off debt can be part of your retirement saving plan, and you don't have to give up all your disposable income to plan for retirement or life in an assisted living community. It's also never too early to get the advice of a certified financial consultant. A financial advisor can help you develop a budget that lets you have it all. You can pay off your student loans and credit card debt, keep your "fun money" fund and still put something away for your retirement saving. The amounts dedicated to each category will obviously depend on your income and dedication to saving, but a little professional advice can go a long way toward putting you on the right track. Fortunately, the benefits of compound interest will turn small savings at 25 into huge dividends at age 65.

Another advantage to investing in your 20s and 30s is the opportunity to pursue an aggressive investment portfolio. With decades before you need to access your retirement saving fund, natural dips in the market won't affect you as much as they might if you had less time to recover. An aggressive portfolio should still be diversified, however, to keep a sudden loss in any one investment from pulling down your entire portfolio. An aggressive investment strategy might include common stocks, mutual funds and even bonds. A financial advisor can recommend the right balance for you, while doing the leg work of researching companies worth your savings. It's important to remember than an aggressive strategy for long-term retirement saving does not mean a strategy to "get rich quick." Your goal is to choose investments that will grow steadily for decades, not months.

Saving Strategies for your 40s

As you reach your 40s and into your 50s, you will probably start to develop an idea of the lifestyle you want to lead in retirement. Maybe you and your spouse have decided you want to sell your home, buy an RV and travel the United States. Perhaps you've decided to invest in a second vacation home so you can split your time between your hometown and a sunny destination like California. If your dream retirement scenario involves big purchases or an extensive travel schedule, you will obviously to save more aggressively than someone who is content to spend their retirement at home. Planning your ideal future with a certified financial consultant can give you an idea of how much savings you need now to reach your goals down the road. If your goals are unrealistic, your advisor can help you develop a backup plan.

As you get closer to retirement, your advisor can show you a number of saving strategies that take advantage of your age. Many accounts, including your 401k plan and IRA, will allow you to make additional payments once you reach age 50. These "catch up" funds also apply to 403b accounts if you work in the nonprofit sector. Although it might feel discouraging to get a late start if you are just starting to think of retirement saving in your 40s and 50s, a certified financial planner can show you all the ways you can stretch your savings and make your money work for you.

Retirement saving can be challenging if you aren't sure where to begin, but seeking the advice of a professional financial planner can help you determine the best saving strategy for you, including how much to put aside each month, where to invest your money, and what target amount you need to hit to live comfortably in your golden years. Having a long-term dream in mind is half the battle; the other half is knowing how to obtain it. This is where a financial planner can be one of your biggest resources. Researching certified financial consultants online can help you find a professional in your area who can help you reach your goals.

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