(StatePoint) Whether you’re in your first job or nearing the golden years, retirement planning should be a top priority.
Taking charge of your savings, regardless of your life stage, will help ensure that you get “to” and “through” retirement — while living the lifestyle you think is right for you.
“Today, one of the only vehicles most people have to save for retirement is through their employer-sponsored retirement plan,” said Chuck Cornelio, president of Retirement Plan Services at the Lincoln Financial Group. “Scheduling an annual check-in with your retirement consultant or financial adviser will help you ensure your investments are matched with your risk tolerance, and help you stay on track with your overall retirement goals.”
Consider the following five points when reviewing and taking charge of your retirement savings:
• Invest your income boosts: If you receive an increase in income like a company bonus, salary increase, tax return or an expense reduction like paying off a car or a loan, it’s a great time to put those extra dollars towards retirement savings.
• Consolidate assets: If you still have retirement funds from previous employers, roll those balances into your current company’s retirement plan. Having all your retirement assets in one place simplifies retirement investing and income planning.
• Reduce taxable income: The money you contribute to your employer-sponsored retirement plan is not included in your current taxable income. So the more you save, the lower your income taxes. Taxes aren’t due on the money saved or on any investment earnings until the money is taken out of your 401(k) plan. And the good news is that by the time you withdraw money and pay taxes, you’ll most likely be in a lower tax bracket.
• Review your investments: Ask your employer about retirement planning education, online tools, or one-on-one support to help you make sure your investment strategy is in line with your overall retirement goals as well as your risk tolerance. Take advantage of all the resources available to you.
• Maximize match benefits: Make sure you’re contributing enough to take full advantage of any company matching program. This is one of the most valuable benefits of saving for retirement through your employer. If you’re not doing this, you’re simply leaving money on the table.
If you’re enrolled in your company’s retirement plan, you’re already on the right track. Remember to stay on track and take greater charge of your retirement plan. More information on saving for retirement can be found at www.LincolnFinancial.com.
To be better prepared for the years ahead, challenge yourself to step back and think about retirement in a new way, considering both savings and planning.