Retirement Planning through the Years

Retirement planning has been at the forefront of my thoughts as of late. As my 30th birthday approaches and I begin to take serious steps to plan for my future, I started doing some research on important information to consider when beginning and continuing savings and retirement plans. Below are some important milestones recently cited in Black Enterprise magazine’s investing section. Kevin Chadwick, Managing Director of Northwestern Mutual in Austin Texas, offered the following advice:

“getting to retirement is no longer the end goal, it’s a turning point onto a new road.  It’s important to know the different milestones of your life and what you can do to keep future goals on track.”

In your 20’s

  • Manage debt
  • Start a 3-month emergency fund
  • Establish a budget (mint.com is a good program designed to help you identify your expenses and create a budget)
  • Invest regularly into a 401(k) (keeping in mind that you should be saving at least 10% of your income)
  • Set money aside for a home purchase and consider life and disability insurance

In your 30’s and 40’s

  • Consider getting life and disability insurance if you’re married or have children
  • Balance college savings for kids vs. retirement
  • Continue building an emergency fund to 6 months
  • Assess long-term care needs

In your 50’s

  • Develop permanent retirement plans
  • Decide when and where you want to retire
  • Determine the maximum retirement contribution amount for your age group
  • Estimate retirement expenses

In your 60’s and beyond

  • Coordinate pension or government benefits with savings to build a retirement paycheck
  • Optimize social security (annuities) (talk with a representative of the social security administration to get full information on eligibility and benefits)
  • Consider paying off mortgage or other outstanding debts

For more information: visit www.blackenterprise.com/money

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