Retirement Planning is an Important Part of Career Planning

Most of the readers of this blog and members of my career mentoring site are young professionals.  For you, retirement may seem as if it’s a long, long time away.  In some ways it is.  In others it will come faster that you will imagine.  I still can’t believe that I’ll be 66 next month.  I’m already on Medicare and I’ll be eligible for full social security.  Amazing. And I have started looking into healthy communities for seniors.

I’m fortunate, my retirement is funded.  I’ll be able to live comfortably for the rest of my life.  That’s because I listened to and followed some sound financial advice over 40 years ago.  Kara Masterson recently sent me this article on retirement planning for young professionals.  It’s sound advice.  Read it.  More important, put it to work.

5 Ways You Can Start Saving For Retirement Now

Retirement will be here sooner than you think, and you don’t want to be left unprepared. One of the keys to a happy retirement is to ensure you have enough money. If you aren’t thinking yet about your retirement years it is probably about time you do. Here are five ways you can start saving for retirement now.

Participate in your 401k plan

Chances are your employer offers a 401k plan, so if you aren’t yet contributing, you should start. Such plans make it easy to save for retirement because money is taken on a pre-tax basis from your paycheck and invested at your direction. If your company offers a match, make sure you contribute at least enough to the full match. Over time, increase your contributions as your pay increases.

Open a traditional IRA

If you don’t have an employer retirement savings plan, a traditional individual retirement account is a good alternative. Such an account allows you to save several thousand dollars each year on a tax-deferred basis — more if you are age 50 or older. Even if you do have a 401k plan at work, an IRA can be a good supplement if you can afford to invest more.

Start a Roth IRA

A Roth IRA works much like a traditional IRA — with one big difference. Instead of saving pre-tax money, you save after-tax funds. The big advantage to that is that the money in the account, including all investment earnings, can be withdrawn tax-free in retirement. Another advantage is that because the money has been deposited after taxes, it is available for you to use at any time penalty-free. So if you need to pay for your daughter’s big wedding at Noah’s Event Venues, you can tap your Roth IRA if necessary.

Open an HSA

Health savings accounts allow you to save money tax-free for qualified health expenses. It is one of the most tax-advantaged ways of saving there is, because you deposit pre-tax money, and withdrawals are tax-free as long as they are used for approved expenses. Any money you accrue in the account can be saved and used for health expenses in retirement. Or, you can pay taxes on the money and use it for whatever purpose you want in retirement.

Get a Life Insurance Policy

Many people don’t consider life insurance to be part of a retirement savings plan, but a whole life policy allows you to build a cash value that you can cash out at any time or borrow against. Also, life insurance benefits are tax free to beneficiaries.

Saving for retirement may seem daunting, but there are many ways to do it. The key is to start as early as possible and save as much as you can afford to.

Saving for retirement is one of those things that you’ll be glad you began early in your career.  Follow this advice and you’ll be able to enter retirement feeling good about your situation.

Your career mentor,


Will Social Media Make or Break Your Career Success?

PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve. Now I’m going one step further. I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success. And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free. Just go to to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals. I hope to see you there.

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