You Are Leaving The Wells Fargo Website
Retirement may seem a long way off and far removed from your day-to-day concerns. And yet, this is actually the best time to start planning and saving that is, when you still have time to accumulate the money youll need.
Here are some common mistakes that throw people off course in their retirement planning. Knowing these pitfalls should help you steer clear and save more.
The Boring Glory Of Index Funds
Your best bet is to buy something called an index fund and keep it forever. Index funds buy every stock or bond in a particular category or market. The advantage is that you know youll be capturing all of the returns available in, say, big American stocks or bonds in emerging markets.
And yes, buying index funds is boring: You usually wont see enormous day-to-day swings in prices the same way you may if you owned Apple stock. But those big swings come with powerful feelings of greed, fear and regret, and those feelings may cause you to buy or sell your investments at the worst possible time. So best to avoid the emotional tumult by touching your investments
It’s Easy To Think Of A 401 As The End
Bonnie Azoulay Elmann is a health writer with a focus on SEO. She worked at Vanity Fair, SheKnows, and Brides before becoming a full-time writer. Bonnie has written for Health, Healthline, Get Me Giddy, Glamour, Orlando Health, and many other publications.
Emily Peterson is an experienced fact-checker and editor. Highlights: * Graduate student at Queens College studying Library and Information Science * Public library worker * Served as a Graduate Intern at the Advertising Research Foundation in New York * Bachelor’s degrees in English Literature and French
Most employers offer their employees a 401 plan, which is a retirement account that employees automatically contribute money to from their payroll. Their contributions aren’t taxed until they withdraw their earnings, typically after retirement. Employees can contribute up to $20,500 to their 401 plan for 2023. If you are 50 or older, you can contribute an extra $7,500 in what’s called a catch-up contribution.
One of the main differences and perks of a 401 compared to a traditional savings account is that many employers will match the money that you’ve contributed. According to Ubiquity Retirements and Savings, about 98 percent of employers offer 401 matching. Still, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that only 51 percent of Americans are investing in a 401 plan, even though 68 percent of Americans have access to one. Many people believe that it’s time to ditch the 401.
You May Like: How Do You Need To Retire At 55
Don’t Confuse An Hsa With These Accounts
This may seem obvious, but make sure you actually have an HSA. This can get confusing because there are a couple of similar accounts that you can use to pay for healthcare costs that don’t allow you to keep the money forever.
A health reimbursement account is an account some employers offer that lets you pay for medical expenses. But the account is funded solely by your employer, and your employer owns the funds. Your employer gets to set the rules, and it may not let you roll over the money from year to year. You’ll typically forfeit the funds if you leave your job.
A flexible spending account is another account that’s similar to an HSA. You can use an FSA to save money for healthcare or dependent care on a pretax basis. Some employers contribute as well. But your employer keeps your FSA money if you leave your job, unless you opt for COBRA continuing coverage.
Usually, you have to use FSA money within the plan year. However, your employer can voluntarily allow one of the following: a two-and-a-half-month grace period to spend FSA money for the plan, or a $610 carryover to the following plan year.
Because HRA and FSA funds belong to your employer, you can’t invest the money in either account. Be sure to check your employer’s rules about carrying over funds from year to year. Otherwise, you could be leaving money on the table.
Consider A Health Savings Account
Another option to consider is a health savings account . If you have an HSA-eligible health plan, these accounts offer a number of benefits, including a tax deduction, tax-free growth potential, and tax-free withdrawals to pay for qualified medical expenseseither now or in retirement.*
After age 65, if you dont need the money for health care costs, you can take withdrawals from the account penalty-free. But, similar to a traditional IRA, taxes on contributions and earnings will be due.
- For more information, read on Fidelity.com: How can an HSA benefit you?
Also Check: Best Low Cost Places To Retire
Catch Up On Your Savings Using Tax Incentives
Depending on your personal financial history, you could qualify for certain tax incentives that help you save money you can use in retirement.
Why Employers May Not Offer A 401
Facilitating a 401 plan can be expensive for a company. The IRS requires testing and reporting to ensure retirement plans keep up with regulations. As a result, many small businesses simply can’t afford to administer a 401 plan.
If a company is brand new and trying to get off of the ground, they may not have the time to organize a retirement plan for their employees. Since bringing in an outside firm costs even more money, usually, small businesses don’t have a 401 plan in place.
And because nearly a half of Americans work for small businesses, the amount of people left to their own means to save for retirement is significant.
Don’t Miss: Retirement Communities In Conway Ar
Invest In A Small Business
Another option to help you reach your retirement goals is to invest in a small business. A small business investment doesn’t necessarily mean becoming a business owner. If you don’t want to drive the ship, you can invest in an established company as a silent partner.
Whether you choose entrepreneurship or investing, small business profits are not capped and the potential return on investment is higher than other alternatives. Of course, these investments carry with them a great deal of risk. There’s no guarantee that the time or money you invest in a small business will generate a substantial return over time. Choose wisely.
What Type Of Retirement Plans Are These
State-sponsored retirement plans are commonly Roth individual retirement accounts . With this type of savings, employee contributions are deducted from post-tax income, which means their money is generally tax free at the time of withdrawal. In comparison, a traditional IRA is funded with pretax payroll deductions, thereby lowering the employees taxable income. When the individual draws from the account, however, the money is subject to taxes.
Recommended Reading: The Truth About Retirement Plans And Iras
An Ira Is A Good First Choice
An IRA is an Individual Retirement Account that you open in your own name. Like a 401, savings grow tax-deferred, which means you don’t pay income taxes on the earnings as long as the money is in the account. Currently, you can contribute up to $6,000 a year to an IRA . That would be a good start to your savings.
You do have a couple of IRA choices, so before you open one, you’ll need to consider which type of IRA is best for you.
- Traditional IRAWith this type of account you generally get an upfront tax deduction for your contribution. Potential earnings grow tax deferred, but you’re subject to ordinary income taxes when you make a withdrawal. If you withdraw money before age 59½, you may also be hit with a 10% penaltyall the more reason to give your money the opportunity to grow.
- Roth IRAWith a Roth, there’s no up-front tax deduction, but you can withdraw potential earnings tax free at age 59½ if you’ve held the Roth for five years. You’re subject to a 10% penalty if you withdraw earnings before 59½, but there’s never a penalty for withdrawing the money you contributed.
To contribute to a Roth IRA, you have to meet certain income limitations. In 2022, if you’re married filing jointly, you can make a full contribution as long as your Modified Adjusted Gross Income is less than $204,000 .
Todays Retirees Are Already Redefining Retirement
The concept of working past the point of financial necessity may seem foreign to some, but its already a proven trend amongst todays retirees, who are increasingly keeping one foot in the job market after the age of 65. Roughly 20% of Americans over the age of 65 are either working or looking for work, according to a study by United Income, more than double the proportion recorded in 1985, and not because they need the money.
According to freelance marketplace Upworks annual Freelancing in America study, the older you are the more likely you are to be working out of personal choice rather than financial necessity.
For all those who are aged 55 and up, 62% do it more by choice than necessity for those who are age 65 plus, 73% do it by choice, says Shoshana Deutschkron, vice president of communications at Upwork. Deutschkron adds that of the 57 million Americans who freelanced in the past year, roughly 20% are over the age of 65. A big part of work is self-actualization and fulfillment. It gives you purpose, and I think a lot of people still want that later in their life, she says.
What To Do If You Dont Have Enough Retirement Savings
In a 2021 survey of workers ages 40 to 73, the Insured Retirement Institute found that only 44% of non-retired people thought they had saved enough money to retire. Some of these people could be right: 51% of respondents had less than $50,000 in retirement savings. Guidelines from Fidelity Investments suggest you should have 10 times your annual salary saved by age 67, the age at which people born after 1960 can retire with full Social Security benefits.
Whatever your age, now is the right time to figure out how much you’ll need to save by the time you hit retirement ageand to create a plan for reaching that goal. If you’re approaching retirement without adequate savings, consider the following steps to size up your resources and map your way forward.
How Does Retiring Early Affect My Monthly Benefit
When you retire early, your monthly benefit amount is reduced to reflect that you will be receiving your pension payments for a longer period of time. The amount of the impact depends on the amount of service credit you have, the date you retire, your age and the early retirement factor used.
If you retire with between 20 and 30 years of service credit, your monthly benefit is reduced by a factor that is based on your average life expectancy. The reduction is greater than if you retire with at least 30 service credit years.
If you retire with at least 30 years of service credit, you can choose one of the following options:
- A 3% Early Retirement Factor reduction for each year before you turn age 65
- The 2008 ERF, which provides a smaller benefit reduction but imposes stricter return-to-work rules
Early retirement rules are different for members who are first hired on or after May 1, 2013. At age 55 with 30 years of service credit, your benefit is reduced by 5% for each year before you turn age 65.
The ERFs are subject to change based on State Actuary figures. The administrative factors used in this table are for illustrative purposes only.
Don’t Miss: Retirement Communities Near Roanoke Va
Retirement Plan And Ira Required Minimum Distributions Faqs
Information on this page may be affected by coronavirus relief for retirement plans and IRAs.
The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 became law on December 20, 2019. The Secure Act made major changes to the RMD rules. If you reached the age of 70½ in 2019 the prior rule applies, and you must take your first RMD by April 1, 2020. If you reach age 70 ½ in 2020 or later you must take your first RMD by April 1 of the year after you reach 72.
For defined contribution plan participants, or Individual Retirement Account owners, who die after December 31, 2019, , the SECURE Act requires the entire balance of the participant’s account be distributed within ten years. There is an exception for a surviving spouse, a child who has not reached the age of majority, a disabled or chronically ill person or a person not more than ten years younger than the employee or IRA account owner. The new 10-year rule applies regardless of whether the participant dies before, on, or after, the required beginning date, now age 72.
Your required minimum distribution is the minimum amount you must withdraw from your account each year. You generally have to start taking withdrawals from your IRA, SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA, or retirement plan account when you reach age 72 . Roth IRAs do not require withdrawals until after the death of the owner.
For more information on IRAs, including required withdrawals, see:
Can An Account Owner Just Take A Rmd From One Account Instead Of Separately From Each Account
An IRA owner must calculate the RMD separately for each IRA that he or she owns, but can withdraw the total amount from one or more of the IRAs. Similarly, a 403 contract owner must calculate the RMD separately for each 403 contract that he or she owns, but can take the total amount from one or more of the 403 contracts.
However, RMDs required from other types of retirement plans, such as 401 and 457 plans have to be taken separately from each of those plan accounts.
Recommended Reading: Tax Deferred Annuity Retirement Plan
How Can I Save For Retirement Without A 401
I’m 27, and my husband is 32. We’re starting to think about saving for retirement. He has a 401 at work, but I’m a hairstylist at a small salon that doesn’t offer any retirement benefits. What’s the best way for me to save?
Starting to save for retirement early is one of the most important things you can do, so kudos for some smart thinking. At your age, if you save just 10%15% of your annual income from now until you reach retirement age, you should be in pretty good financial shape. At your husband’s age, he might consider bumping that up to 15%20% if he’s just beginning to save in his 401.
Your husband is lucky to have a 401. It makes saving easier because the money is automatically deducted from his paycheck each month. Plus, he may get an employer match . But like you, not everyone has that opportunity. Currently, about a third of Americans don’t have an employer-sponsored retirement plan. But that shouldn’t keep anyone from starting to save. It may take a little more effort and discipline to create your own retirement plan, but it’s well worth it. Here’s what I suggest.
What Is A 401
The more interesting angle is what a 401 can do for you. The 401 is a powerful resource for achieving financial independence, especially when you start using it early in your career. Said another way, if you like money and wish to have more of it in the future, you can use a 401 to make that happen.
Read on for a closer look at how the 401 works, when you can withdraw funds from a 401, and what happens to your 401 if you change jobs.
Recommended Reading: State Of Ct Comptroller Retirement Division
Reduce Your Housing Costs
There is no question that housing is the most expensive monthly expense. One way to live in retirement with no money is to sell your house and move to a cheaper location. The savings from reducing your housing costs can be significant.
I recently sold my house and moved into a housing community. I went from paying $2,200 a month to $530 plus electric and reduced my housing costs by over 75% once you factor in maintenance and insurances as well. There are all kinds of senior housing cooperative communities located throughout the country. A majority of my neighbors are retired senior citizens.