According to research, most Americans don’t have enough money saved to retire. Fortunately, by taking these steps as early as possible, you can help change that.
Here are 13 tips to help you afford the retirement you deserve.
- Work Longer: Assuming your employer permits it, it’s the obvious choice. Each additional year shortens retirement while adding a year for additional retirement saving and growth of their current retirement assets.
- Downsize: If you need a lot of cash fast consider selling your house upon retiring and moving to a state where the cost of living is considerably lower. This should be a last-resort strategy, not an excuse to kick the can down the road.
- Take Advantage of a 1035 Exchange: If you own whole-life insurance it has been building up cash value for decades and it might be approaching the face value of the policy. An option is to convert the policy into an annuity. It should be a tax-free exchange. The annuity can continue to accrue cash value or provide immediate income if you are retiring now.
- Save Your Annual Bonus: If your compensation is paid as a salary plus bonus, as much as possible of those bonuses should be directed towards savings.
- Save Your Tax Refunds: Your tax refunds are enforced savings that becomes found money. These funds could be redirected towards savings instead of consumption.
- 401(k) Catch-Up Contributions: Tax-deferred growth is better than growth in a taxable environment. You can contribute $ 19,500 to your 401(k). The government allows people 50+ to add an additional $6,500 to that amount if they have under contributed in years past. In simple terms, you can direct more pre-tax dollars to your tax-deferred account.
- IRA Contributions: You are allowed to direct $6,000/year into IRA accounts. The catch-up rule above allows them to raise that by $ 1,000 for similar reasons.
- Locate Orphaned IRAs: People change jobs often today. Monies in a previous company’s retirement plan might have been rolled into an IRRA. The companies might have made this easy with a suggested custodian. Your client might have pots of money of various amounts below their radar screen. Consolidate them. Put them to work.
- Stock Plan at Work: You might have the opportunity to buy your companies stock at a discount through a company stock purchase plan. This might be a 10-15 percent savings. Although buying stock involves risk, it’s a way to make an immediate return on their money, assuming the plan allows them to sell.
- Restricted Stock and Options: Your compensation might include deferred stock options. They often take years to vest. Your client has worked there for years. This is another pool of money they might not have considered as an asset.
- Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan: If you own your own business, these plans are designed to favor only a specific segment of a company’s staff, usually senior management. Often a long term perk like golden handcuffs, they also work as a golden parachute. The retirement plan is a company-funded expense, payable upon retirement. They are also called Top Hat plans.
- Rental Property: If you own a second home this could be transformed into a rental property, bringing in a regular stream of income. You can still have personal use of your property if it’s a seasonal rental.
- Deferred Compensation: Your client might not collected everything they make during the year it’s earned. If they have deferred comp coming to them, that’s another pool of assets to consider putting to work on arrival.
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