Planting Seeds for a Fruitful Retirement
When thinking about retirement savings we often focus on the word “retirement.” Whether we are entering the workforce or are in the middle of our career, retirement can seem light years away. However, at any stage in our career it is never too early, or too late, to save for retirement.
Think of retirement planning throughout your career like the seasons of the year. While the seasons change, each one presents unique opportunities to adjust your approach and outlook on retirement.
Spring is in the Air
As we “spring” into our early careers, we should begin to “plant the seeds” of our future right away. Saving on our own or contributing to an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan such as a 401(k) or 403(b) plan, like Horizon or UMPIP, is critical. Find out how much of your contributions will be matched by your employer, e.g., 3%, and begin saving at least that amount. Think of the employer match as FREE MONEY that you never want to leave on the table.
Each time you receive a salary increase, contribute more—even if it’s just an additional 1%! Time is your friend. What you have saved will continue to grow over time, thanks to compound interest.
Summertime Livin’ is Easy…When You Plan for It
As time passes, we enter into the summer of our careers, and we start to see those “seeds” have taken root and are starting to grow. Just as you would tend to your flowers and vegetables in your garden, you will need to continue to cultivate and care for your retirement account.
Continue to save and increase your contribution amount until you reach the maximum contribution limit.* If you have changed jobs, consider consolidating your retirement accounts with your current employer or into an IRA. The benefits of doing this are outlined in our Benefit Bites video about rollovers. Take time to learn about investing by doing your own research or have a conversation with a financial planner, like EY Financial Planning Services. Understand how your account is invested and how to make adjustments as you get closer to retirement.
Get Ready for the Bountiful Harvest
As you enter the colorful, and pleasant autumn days of your career, retirement is on the horizon. Develop a comprehensive financial plan inclusive of all potential retirement income (pensions, retirement saving accounts, social security and spousal income) and your retirement goals.
If your planning reveals some gaps, do not be discouraged— you still have time for late season seeding. Avoid a long, cold winter by increasing your contributions as much as you can to catch up, plan to work a few more years or explore other sources of income in retirement such as part-time work.
It’s important to enjoy all the seasons of your career and continue to stay focused on saving so you can enjoy the benefits of fruitful harvest.
- Start contributing early
- Contribute at least the minimum amount to earn your employer match
- Increase your retirement savings as you progress in your career
- As retirement nears, start developing a plan for how you want to spend your retirement
* The annual maximum contribution limit for a 403(b) is $20,500 in 2022. Employees age 50 or older may contribute up to an additional $6,500 for a total of $27,000.