Plan for retirement


4 steps to begin retirement planning

Start saving today to help meet your retirement goals

The key is to start as early as you can and invest consistently over time

The positive steps you take today will help to shape your future.

Saving for retirement is crucial because it helps ensure that you’ll have enough financial resources to support a comfortable lifestyle and pay for essentials after you stop working.

Without sufficient savings, you may not have the flexibility to enjoy the retirement you want.

Step 1: Focus on your emergency savings first

Before you start saving for retirement, make sure you have enough savings to weather unforeseen expenses.

Building up 3 to 6 months of expenses in your emergency savings account can help you from going deeper in to debt and to whether unexpected expenses.

Don't be discouraged if you haven't built your emergency savings yet. Start small and aim to save an amount equal to one paycheck first.

Our My Savings Plan® tool is an automated way to help you build your savings.

View My Savings Plan

Step 2: Ensure your debt is manageable

If you have significant debt, you may want to start by paying those debts down while making smaller contributions to your retirement fund.

Once your spending, savings, and debt levels are in good shape, it may be time to start contributing more to your retirement savings.

Over time, you can make larger contributions. But before you start, you may want to ensure that you can comfortably pay all your monthly bills in full and on time.

Use the My Money Map financial tool to track spending, saving, and budgets all in one place.

View My Money Map

Step 3: Take part in your employer-sponsored retirement plan

Your workplace may offer a qualified retirement plan (QRP) such as a 401(k), 403(b), or governmental 457(b). If your employer offers matching contributions, consider contributing at least as much as they match – this is additional money that can accelerate your savings.

When you change employers, remember that your retirement savings come with you. You don't lose them if you leave. And you may have options for rolling them over to your new employer's retirement program.

If your employer doesn't offer a sponsored retirement plan, it's still important that you save for retirement before investing toward other goals. Learn more about IRAs.

Step 4: Set a savings goal and increase your contributions over time

Pay yourself first! Choose a percentage of your income to consistently put toward an investing or retirement goal. Depending on your finances, you may want to start with a smaller percentage and adjust it over time as your income changes. For example, if you receive a raise at work consider increasing your retirement contribution to keep your take home pay the same while building your savings. Even a small amount per paycheck can add up over time.

Once you're consistently investing toward retirement, you can consider other long-term goals. Like retirement saving, simply choose a percentage of your income to consistently put toward your other savings goals.

Use the My Retirement Plan® Savings Calculator to help set a retirement goal that works for you.

View My Retirement Plan®

Read more

You’re on your way to planning your retirement. Up next:

Retirement Planning

The basics of how and why to start retirement savings and planning

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Investing and Retirement Help

Guidance, insights and tools to help you as you begin your investing and retirement planning.

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What’s my number?

A calculator to help you plan how much you'll need to save for retirement, and how to do it.

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If you’re looking for more options, call Wells Fargo Advisors at 1-866-522-0459 or schedule a consultation.

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