Retirement, a topic of conversation that is always necessary. The conversation can be scary at times but hey it’s only a particularly arranged ten letter word, and we are here to help make the discussion easier.

Let’s go ahead rip the Band-Aid off and jump right into the nitty-gritty of things. Retirement is a conversation that needs to happen sooner rather than later. As a millennial, there are some facts to consider when pondering whether or not to start saving for retirement. First, 1 in 3 Americans have nothing saved for retirement.1 Second, Social Security will be cut – estimate is by 23% in 15 years.2 Third, Current estimated health care costs for a couple in retirement is $245k.3 Last but not least, student debt puts you behind.

Now, none of that is to be said to scare you just to let you know how important this conversation is to have. At some point, we all stop working and we will need money to live off of – just as we do now. You don’t have to come up with a plan to save for your retirement on your own there are so many resources available to you. The most common ways to save for retirement are employer-sponsored plans, individual retirement accounts, deferred compensation plans, pension plans, and cash.

Employer-Sponsored Plans consist of 401(k) – Most common type and offered by for-profit entities, 403(b) – Identical to 401(k) but offered by not-for-profit entities, and 457 Plan – Again, basically the same but typically offered by state/local governments.  401(k) is the most common way to save for retirement. Many companies offer them to their employees, and as an employee, you have the right (but not the requirement) to contribute to the plan. On many occasions, those contributions are simply withheld from paychecks automatically once set up. Often (but not always), the employer will match a portion of the employee’s contribution. Generally worded as “We match X% of every dollar up to Y%.” The most common match (per a large Fidelity survey) is: We match 50% of every dollar up to the first 6%. That means, if you contribute 6% of your pay to the 401(k) the employer will put in 3% of your pay. You can add more, but they’re capping at 3%. It is highly recommended to contribute at least 6% to get every bit that you can from your employer.

The next big decision is whether to choose Traditional or Roth. The most straight-forward question to ask yourself when trying to decide between Traditional and Roth is: Do you think you will be in a higher tax bracket in retirement or a higher tax bracket now? There are few factors to considers: How much will you be pulling out as income in retirement and how much are you making now? What will tax rates be when you retire? What are they now?

 

 

Now that you have an overview on 401(k)’s you can get started immediately. Remember to diversify, but be aggressive. Keep your cash low and keep an eye on fees. Come in and see us if you want someone to make sense of your employer-sponsored plan, you don’t have an employer-sponsored plan and need to figure out your best options for retirement planning, or you need help navigating retirement planning through a job transition.

 

 

 

References:

  1. Rhee, N. (2018, January 02). The Retirement Savings Crisis: Is It Worse Than We Think? Retrieved January 23, 2019, from https://www.nirsonline.org/reports/the-retirement-savings-crisis-is-it-worse-than-we-think/
  2. The 2014 annual report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds: Communication from the Board of Trustees, Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds transmitting the 2014 annual report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds. (2014). Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office.
  3. Health Care Costs for Couples in Retirement Rise to an Estimated $245,000. (2015, October 07). Retrieved January 23, 2019, from https://www.fidelity.com/about-fidelity/employer-services/health-care-costs-for-couples-retirement-rise
  4. Global Home Page. (n.d.). Retrieved January 23, 2019, from http://www.limra.com/

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