Basic Retirement Planning Strategies
& Retirement Saving Tips
for Beginners

Entry level tips to begin saving money for your future.

It is common knowledge that everyone needs to have a well thought-out retirement plan for their future. Traditional pension plans are mostly relics from the past, 401K plans are less than adequate, and Social Security may not exist when you need it most. The best thing you can do for yourself and your financial future is to start saving right now.

Start Small

No matter how tight money may be for you right now, you should put away something each month for your retirement. If you are more than twenty years away from retirement, you should know that small amounts can make a huge difference with enough time.

Take Advantage of Employee Sponsored Savings Programs

If you work for a company that provides retirement plans, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and/or Simplified Employee Pension Plans (SEPs), you should make sure that you are enrolled in order to take full advantage of these tax favored plans. If you are fortunate enough to work for a company that provides a generous match for your contributions into certain programs like 401K plans, it would be irresponsible not to take part in those programs.

Make Retirement Saving a Regular Habit

If the option is available you should opt to have automatic deductions taken from your paycheck in order to fund retirement savings vehicles. It will be much easier when you do not have to make manual payments into the various retirement plans in which you participate. If you utilize automatic debit/drafting options, you will more quickly realize how painless regular saving habits can be. Eventually, you will not miss the extra money taken from your pay.

Don't Leave your Retirement Plans Behind

Make sure that you roll over your retirement account money whenever you change jobs. On your first day at a new job, be sure to approach the benefits department and find out what you need to do in order to roll over your retirement accounts. If you do not know where to find the benefits department at a new job, you can contact human resources and they will point you in the right direction. Also, try not to ever quit a job until you are fully vested in your retirement plans.

Save It and Forget It

Finally, you have to fully commit to staying away from your retirement funds. Under no circumstances should you ever dip into your retirement savings for any reason whatsoever. Was that clear enough? If something important should occur at a moment's notice you should use your emergency savings to address the problem. If you have zero savings, you should work on building up an emergency account before you begin to make serious contributions into a retirement savings plan. Once you make deposits into your retirement account(s), you should behave as if the money is no longer there - until you actually retire.

- Source - United States Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration

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