Building a successful retirement with as few bumps as critical means that you need to study yourself before your income goes away. How will you spend your time? How much money will you need? When do you plan to leave full-time retirement? How much have you saved?
Determine Spending Needs
Carefully look at your current budget. Are there things you’re paying for, such as lunches out, that will go away when you’re no longer working? Take this time to also look at how you plan to spend your time. Will you take a class, pick up a new hobby, or are you planning on getting a part-time job? All of these will impact how much money you need coming in each week.
Invest in Wellness
One of the best investments you can make in your eventual retirement is to increase your health and fitness now. Getting in shape after 65 is tough, but staying in shape until then is doable. While you’re stacking up dollars in your 401k or IRA, stack up good health choices for your enjoyment later.
Understanding Time Horizon
The money you put in your 401k will not be available until you turn 59 1/2. Depending on your investment returns, you should get all your money back and then some. It’s important to note that it’s a good idea to look for securities with lower risk as you get closer to your retirement. If the market takes a hard hit when you’re 30, you have time to let the money build back up. If you’re in high-risk funds at the age of 50, the financial hit may seriously limit your retirement goals.
Study Your Risk Tolerance
It’s a good idea to look at your risk tolerance as an investor. One of the worst things you can do with your 401k and other stock investments is to move money around after a loss. If you need slow and steady growth, look for funds that provide that security in the full understanding that you won’t see big bumps up, either. Even those who study the markets professionally are not in a good position to time the market, or jump on a stock right before it takes off so they make a killing on one purchase. This type of success is extremely rare.
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Calculate After Tax Return Rate
When you contribute to your 401(k), you save in multiple ways. You’re reducing your taxable income, and according to the experts at SoFi Investments, even if you’re also paying off debts while you save for retirement, you should at least put enough in the 401k to get the full employer match. How much to put in your 401k past the match will be determined by your budget and current restrictions.
A 401k will reduce your current income tax rate. It will also give you free money in the employer match. Simple investments with steady growth will give you more money in retirement, and once you retire, your taxable income will come down, lowering what you have to pay on your 401k withdrawals. Sign up as soon as you’re able.