Uncategorized Vivian | 03 Mar 2010 02:48 pm

5 Ways to Prepare for Retirement

While many Americans are primarily concerned with their current financial situation, it is important to think about the future no matter what your household budget looks like. In 2004, the U.S. Department of Labor outlined 5 easy steps to preparing yourself for comfortable retirement living.

1.) Know your retirement needs.
Retirement can be expensive, so you will need to know and understand what it will take to successfully save for the future. Experts say you will need at least 70% of your pre-retirement income in order to keep up your current standard of living once you are no longer working.

2.) Find out about your Social Security benefits.
The average retiree currently receives roughly 40% of their pre-retirement income through Social Security. Visit http://www.socialsecurity.gov to learn more about the benefits of Social Security.

3.) Contribute to a tax-sheltered savings plan.
If your employer offers a program such as a 401 (k) it is wise to sign up and contribute as much money as possible. Contributions to a 401(k) are made automatically from your paycheck, your taxable income will be lower therefore costing you less, and many times your employer will match a percentage of your contribution.

4.) Put Your Money into an Individual Retirement Account
An IRA, or Individual Retirement Account is a simple way to save money for retirement and gain tax advantages. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, if you contributed $3,000 per year into your IRA earning 7% interest, you would have $75,387 in just 15 years!

5.) Dont Touch Your Savings
Keep yourself from tapping into your retirement savings. By using retirement savings early, you will not only lose principal and interest, but you will also lose your tax benefits. If you change jobs, simply roll over your savings directly into an IRA or into a new plan with your new employer.

Remember, Financial security doesnt just happen, it requires planning, commitment and money.

Tom Palange Education Programs Specialist American Consumer Credit Counseling

ABOUT ACCC: American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to regain control of the quality of their lives through education, counseling and debt management. ACCC provides individuals with the practical solutions for solving financial problems and recognizes that consumers’ financial difficulties are often not the result of poor spending habits but more frequently from extenuating circumstances beyond their control. As one of the nation’s leading providers of consumer financial education and credit counseling services, ACCC works with consumers to help them with the best plan of action to reduce their debt and regain financial stability. For more information or to access free financial education log on to http://www.consumercredit.com

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