Retirement Planning – Credible Resources For Planning Your Future
Saving for retirement has nothing to do with increasing your income or putting more hours on the job. On the contrary. It is about making choices to have control of your retirement.
You spend nine hours at your job and another hour or two driving to work and back. That leaves just enough time to eat and flip through a zillion channels before scurrying off to sleep. And tomorrow you will repeat the process. All to pay bills that keep increasing over time. Sound familiar? How many hours do you need to work to buy a new sofa? A new outfit?
This is not about food and shelter which are necessities. It is about the stuff that ends up in the back of your closet or in a garage sale. What did it cost you in work time? Be honest now. Realize this is time you can never get back.
Retirement planning is a crucial part of planning for your future. Unfortunately, it is oftentimes left on the back burner because many people do not have sufficient income to contribute to a retirement fund or investments. Today, a large percentage of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck; struggling to get through the week and never giving retirement planning a second thought.
In a perfect world, retirement planning would begin at birth. Imagine how much money you could have if your parents put just $10 a week into a retirement account starting the day you were born. The reality is most do not begin planning for their retirement until they are well into their 40s or 50s. Even worse, many people don’t prepare for their golden years at all. Instead, they end up living off a fixed income provided by the government.
Retirement planning doesn’t have to difficult, confusing, or overwhelming. It is not limited to the wealthy or fortunate few. In fact, planning for your retirement can be downright exciting and exceptionally rewarding. There are endless opportunities which put your money to work for you. All it takes is a bit of time to conduct research or consult with a professional retirement planner.
Perhaps one of the most trusted and reliable resource for retirement advice is the Association of Retired Persons. An advocate for retirees, the Association of Retired Persons offers a comprehensive financial planning section on their website.
Everything you ever wanted to know about Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA), Simplified Employee Pension (SEP), stocks, bonds, mutual funds, low-cost index investments, real estate investment trusts (REIT) and other investment opportunities can be found at the American Association of Retired Persons website.
Another source for obtaining retirement planning information is through the Social Security Administration. The SSA website provides financial tools, calculators and retirement planning forms to help you determine the amount of social security benefits you may be entitled to in your later years.
Several employers offer retirement planning benefits to employees. In some instances employers provide retirement education classes hosted by the benefits provider or through individual counseling provided by the human resources department.
Chances are your banking institution offers retirement planning services. Most provide free consultations to their customers. Next time you are at the bank, stop in the lobby and pick up financial and retirement planning literature. Better yet, arrange a meeting with the branch manager to begin taking steps toward your future.
Investment firms are an excellent source for obtaining retirement planning information and advice. Professional investors can help you develop a diversified financial portfolio to ensure you achieve both long and short-term financial goals.
The sooner you can put some money away, the sooner that money will start growing! If you can consistently contribute to your retirement account(s), you might just have a nice nest egg when you need it. Start small… say 5% of your income. Then, gradually bump it up if possible.
Fortunately, there are several resources to help with growing your contributions besides Social Security.
Mutual Fund investments allow you to access a large amount of stocks or bonds by pooling your money with other investors. The investment companies benefit because they can use the assets to buy securities to meet the company’s goals. There are literally thousands of investment companies and some are riskier than others. You might choose to, for instance, invest in a large, stable company that consistently makes a profit or invest in a smaller company that offers less expensive stock in hopes that they will grow positively.
By taking time now to research opportunities which allow your money to grow, you will be able to sit back and relax during your golden years!