The earlier you begin planning for retirement the less you will need to save in the long run. In fact, you might be amazed to find out what a huge difference it makes to start saving earlier in your working career. To ensure that your retirement plan works as intended, however, it should be created in conjunction with your overall estate plan. The Indianapolis estate planning attorneys at Frank & Kraft explain how retirement planning fits into your estate plan.
Retirement Planning Tips
While saving money is certainly a crucial part of planning for your later years, retirement planning is more complicated than that. You also need to protect the money you save, invest it so that it grows in value, and coordinate your retirement plan with your estate plan. Consequently, you should consult with both your estate planning attorney and your financial advisor when making changes to your retirement plan as well as consider the following tips:
- Educate yourself. Unless you happen to be a financial advisor, there is a lot you probably do not know about investing and financial planning. Take some time before you create your retirement plan to educate yourself about basic investment concepts and lingo.
- Take advantage of employer sponsored options. Although the days of fully funded pensions are all but gone, most medium to large employers (and even some small ones) offer some type of retirement plans for employees, such as a 401(k). If yours does, take advantage and match your employer’s contributions.
- Consider an IRA. An Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is like establishing your own pension fund. An IRA can also offer significant tax advantages as well if you choose the right type.
- Set up automatic deductions. You may have heard the expression “pay yourself first.” This is an excellent mantra for retirement planning purposes. Moreover, if you set up deductions to come out of your paycheck before you ever see the money, you will be less likely to miss the money. After a while, you will likely forget anything is being deducted.
- Make money difficult to reach. The more hoops you must jump through to get money out that is meant for retirement, the less likely you are to disturb it. With that in mind, put your money in investments or in accounts that are not easy to get to so that you are required to think about it before taking the money out.
- Diversify your assets. You have probably heard the saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” This applies to retirement planning. While long-term investment strategies are generally a good idea when it comes to retirement planning, you should also have some cash on hand and never put all your investments into one fund or one account. No matter how safe a fund/account may appear, nothing is completely recession proof nor is there ever a guarantee of quality management.
- Make sure you understand fees. New investors frequently get hit with large fees because they do not know what is customary in the industry. Those fees can add up over the years. Take the time to first figure out the fees you are paying and, second, to find out if they are in line with the norm for the type of investment or service.
- Pay down debts. The closer you get to retiring you should focus more on paying down large debts, such as your mortgage. Not only does that increase the value of your assets but it also reduces your monthly expenses and reduces the amount of interest you pay over the long run.
- Delay Social Security benefits. The different in the amount of your monthly Social Security retirement benefit can be significant if you are able to delay your retirement just a couple of years.
- Incorporate your retirement plan into your estate plan. This should be done early on to ensure that the two plans are compatible and that decisions made in one plan do not conflict with objectives in the other plan.
Contact Indianapolis Estate Planning Attorneys
For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additional questions or concerns about incorporating retirement planning into your estate plan, contact the experienced Indianapolis estate planning attorneys at Frank & Kraft by calling (317) 684-1100 to schedule an appointment.