So many people get to a point in their life when they think, “If I only knew then what I know now.” But that’s not what you want your future self to say about your retirement savings. After all, retirement isn’t a goal; it’s a process, one that takes many years. Make these key financial decisions to navigate the retirement savings process through each decade. Your future self will thank you.
In your 20s…
How will you set up your workplace retirement plan?
Nothing marks entrance into adulthood like landing that first “real” job. How you set up your workplace retirement plan now will help determine your financial future. Enroll as soon as possible, take full advantage of your employer match to avoid leaving free money on the table, carefully consider your tax elections, set up payroll deposits and deductions, and name your beneficiaries.
How will you manage your debt?
Between your student loan, car payments, and credit cards, your personal debt can feel overwhelming. But don’t let the feeling that you’ll never pay it off prevent you from chipping away at debt — or worse, add to it. Live within your means, talk to a financial professional, and make a plan to start paying down your debt now.
In your 30s and 40s…
How will your family budget support your retirement?
When there is a mortgage to pay and a vacation you’ve been planning, retirement can seem worlds away. But making a careful family budget that includes college savings, protection against death or disability, and a solid retirement plan will benefit everyone in your household. Try to commit to at least one annual check-up to assess the health of your savings and retirement plan to make sure you’re on the right track.
In your 50s…
How hands-on will you be with your investing?
You’ve been saving, but with a growing family and career, you may not have had time to focus on your retirement investments. There’s no time like the present to get started. Talk to a financial professional, research investment basics, and learn how to manage your portfolio to take charge of your financial future.
When will you retire?
In your 50s you start to get a feel for when you’ll be ready to retire — both emotionally and financially. Decide on your goal retirement date, and start making plans to reach it.
Do you need to catch up on your retirement savings?
Now that retirement is becoming a reality, you may need to save a little more to prepare. Ask an advisor to help you figure out how much catching-up you need to do. Consider strategies like maxing out your workplace plan, consolidating your assets, and looking for ways to save outside of your plan. Make sure you understand the IRS rules for catch-up contributions.
This post is sponsored by Lincoln Financial Group.
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