If you’ve put off saving for retirement or saved less than you planned, it’s not too late. Consider the following steps to keep you on track to reach your retirement goals.

  • Make the most of retirement accounts
    • Try to contribute enough to your workplace retirement plan to receive any possible matching funds offered by your employer.
    • If you don’t have access to an employer sponsored plan, think about maximizing your contributions to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).
    • Even if you're already contributing to your employer-sponsored plan, a Roth IRA can help you build potentially tax-free savings in addition to your tax-deferred 401(k) plan.
    • If you’re age 50 or older, contribute an additional “catch-up” amount to your IRA and workplace retirement plan each year until retirement. For Traditional and Roth IRAs, the catch-up amount is $1,000 above the standard limits. For 401(k)s (not including SIMPLE plans), the catch-up amount is $5,500 above the contribution limits.
  • Save beyond your retirement accounts. Contributing the maximums on your retirement accounts might be insufficient, particularly if you don’t have access to a 401(k). Determine if you need to supplement your tax-advantaged savings with a regular, taxable investment account.
  • Start an emergency fund. If you don't have a savings account for emergencies, you may want to start one so that you don’t have to dip into your nest egg to meet unexpected expenses. Financial professionals recommend saving three to six months of income for emergency situations.
  • Keep saving when changing jobs. If you switch jobs, avoid cashing out your retirement savings. Withdrawing from your 401(k) before retirement can carry high taxes and penalties. By keeping your savings in an employer-sponsored plan, or rolling it over to an IRA, your investments continue to grow over time. Even small-balance accounts can add up when they compound over many years. Please keep in mind that rolling over assets to an IRA is just one of multiple options for your retirement plan.  Each of the following options has advantages and disadvantages, including investment options and fees & expenses, which should be understood and carefully considered. 
    • Leave assets in a previous employer’s plan
    • Move the assets into a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA
    • Roll over the assets to a new employer’s workplace savings plan, if it is allowed
    • Cash-out, or withdraw the funds
  • Make the most of “new” money. Consider putting part or all of any bonuses, tax refunds, or other lump sum payments into your retirement savings. Use direct deposit to put all or part of your tax refund directly into an IRA.
  • Check in with your investments. Meet with a financial advisor each year to review your portfolio and asset allocation to make sure your investments are on track to meet your retirement goals.
  • Work longer. Delaying your retirement will allow you to continue earning an income and defer Social Security until a later date — a date based on your individual situation. This may give you the opportunity to save more in your retirement account and receive larger monthly Social Security payments when you retire.
  • Manage expenses. By efficiently managing your expenses, you can free up more of your income for retirement savings. You may want to consolidate your debts into one, through a lower-rate loan or line of credit, or consider accelerating your mortgage payments to pay off your mortgage faster and reduce your interest charges.

By making these retirement savings a part of your money management routine, you can begin to make up for lost time.

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