For Mark Roberts’ Use: Our priorities will change over the course of our lives; that’s just the way it is. When it comes to retirement planning, though, it’s important to think about long-term goals and balance those with your more temporary, short-term objectives.
In our 20s, most of us focused on short-term goals like buying a car or moving up in the workplace. But because time is so very important with regard to retirement planning, saving even a small amount during this decade can add up a big return later. In fact, you might be surprised at the power of compounding interest on even a small amount of principal!
In our 30s, many of us are feeling more comfortable with our career paths and income. It’s often during this time that we make big decisions like purchasing a home. But this newfound comfort can lead us astray if we don’t keep our long-term goals in mind! As your salary increases, so should the percentage that you set aside for retirement. You should also consider important financial decisions like life insurance or setting aside money for your children to go to college one day.
For most of you reading this article, your 20s and 30s are a distant memory. Hopefully you engaged in sound financial planning during those years, but even if you didn’t, you can still catch up from this point forward. Plus, you can share your experience and newfound wisdom with your children.
In our 40s and 50s, most of us hit the peaks of our careers. Our earnings are usually higher than ever, and now is the time to make dramatic progress toward retirement savings goals. From age 50 onward, the IRS allows us to make additional catch-up contributions to retirement plans, helping us to save even more for retirement while reaping important tax benefits.
During these decades, you should also begin to evaluate your future retirement expenses. Consider things like the cost of health care, with Medicare eligibility beginning at age 65. Remember, too, that Medicare will not cover everything that you need. It’s time to start looking at the different types of insurance available to help manage your out-of-pocket costs, such as long term care insurance and Medicare supplemental plans.
In your 60s, you’re getting ready to retire. In most cases, your expectations have changed considerably over the decades, and you probably need to make changes or adjustments to your retirement plan. You will start making decisions such as when to claim your Social Security benefits, and when you should begin taking distributions from your retirement account.
During this time, remember that consultation with a professional can help you make the choices that best benefit you over the long term. Give us a call to schedule an appointment, and we can help you weigh the risks and benefits of all your different options.