Planning for retirement

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Retirement is, at times, looked at as the finish line for the working public.
You show up for work every day, put money into Social Security, even set up a 401k or some other retirement plan, but when you near the finish line you may be wondering if there is enough money to carry you through when you finish your career.
Additionally, the news of Greece’s financial woes may have those with 401k accounts wondering what the real future of their retirement plan may be. But according to recent news reports from several outlets, including ABC News, the United State’s involvement with the financially unstable country has been relatively limited, meaning our 401k accounts will see little impact.
But what if a similar situation occurs with other countries?
Be that as it may, here are some tips the United States Department of Labor says will help Americans plan for their retirement, which on average lasts about 20 years.
If you don’t have a 401k, consider starting one, especially if your current employer offers it. The younger a person begins to contribute, the more money will be available upon retirement. Or, if an employer offers a pension program, become familiar with how it works and what is required from the employee’s side.
It is recommended to save for at least 70 percent of a person’s current income, or 90 percent for those with a low wage. For comparison, Social Security benefits will typically be about 40 percent of your wage, if policy makers find a way to keep the program solvent until you retire.
Once you have some money saved up, avoid the temptation to draw upon it during an emergency. Taxes and penalties for money withdrawn from a plan prior to retirement are high.
Another option is starting your own Individual Retirement Account.
These are just some tips to get you started, so do additional research and consider speaking to a professional if you need help.

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