No matter your age, you can work on your retirement plan. In times of greater uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to review your plan. Whether you hope to retire in 5 years, 50 years or somewhere in between, there are things you can do now to work toward the retirement lifestyle you want.
Here are some of the actions you should consider, depending on your retirement timeline.
30+ years from retirement
- Align your short- and long-term goals. If you hope to retire early and travel the world, you may choose to live in an area with a lower cost of living now to help you save more. If your dream is to design and build your own home for your family to live in, you may choose to retire later so you can afford both your dream home and your retirement plan. Making a list of your goals and prioritizing them can help.
- Pay yourself first, each month. It’s important to get in the habit of saving for retirement. If your company offers a retirement savings plan [e.g., 401(k) plan], they may also match contributions you make, up to a certain amount. Consider putting in at least enough to secure the match so you’re taking full advantage of the benefit. Making contributions through payroll deductions makes it even easier to save.
- Track your spending over time. By setting up a budget and tracking your spending, you’ll be taking steps to ensure that your spending aligns with your short- and long-term goals. You’ll also get a clearer view of what your expenses may be in retirement. If you have a mortgage now and you plan on paying it off before you retire, you’ll be able to subtract those monthly payments from your retirement spending needs. Read more about creating a budget for uncertain times.
20–30 years from retirement
- Evaluate your investment strategy. Understand your comfort level with risk and make sure your investments are appropriate for you. Be sure to check your investment portfolio at least once per year and make adjustments as your needs change.
- Review the tax implications. Tax laws have changed significantly in recent years. Any changes to tax law can make certain accounts more efficient savings vehicles and others less so than they might have been prior to the changes. It’s important to consider this when determining which type of account to use.
10–20 years from retirement
- Plan the specifics of your retirement. Will you travel more? Will you be caring for a parent or child? What are your medical requirements? Will you be working? Getting these answers in order will help solidify your plan.
- Consider making catch-up contributions. At age 50, you become eligible to make additional contributions to your retirement savings accounts, known as “catch-up” contributions. If you feel behind on your savings or have extra money in your budget, you may want to take advantage of this benefit. Review the IRS annual limits on catch-up contributions to get started.
5–10 years from retirement
- Look at your options for health insurance. If your employer offers retiree health insurance options, you may want to look into the terms of the coverage. You should compare this with other available options, from the federal government or the Health Insurance Marketplace for your state.
- Reassess your risk tolerance. As you get closer to retirement, you’re closer to needing to use the funds in your retirement accounts. You might consider shifting them to less risky investments, depending on your tolerance for investment risk.
- Update your retirement budget. Take a hard look at your spending and determine where your expenses will change in retirement. Clothing or commuting expenses may be reduced while travel expenses may increase. It all depends on what you plan to do in retirement, and how different that is from your current lifestyle. You should also review your sources of income and the amount you have saved, making adjustments as needed.
Close to retiring?
If you’re even closer to retirement, we’ve created a resource specifically for you. Read more about how you can prepare in these uncertain times.
As you get started
Remember—there is no one-size-fits-all retirement plan. Your personal plan depends on your goals, your time horizon and the resources available to you.
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This material was prepared by The Ayco Company, L.P. d/b/a Goldman Sachs Ayco Personal Financial Management (“Ayco Personal Financial Management” or “Ayco”), an affiliate of United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC d/b/a Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management (“GS PFM”). This material was prepared for informational purposes only and should not be construed as personal financial planning, investment, tax, accounting, or legal advice. No investment decisions should be made using this data. GS PFM believes the material used for the article is accurate, but does not verify its accuracy independently and does not warrant or guarantee that is it accurate or complete. Information and opinions expressed in this article are as of the date of this material only and subject to change without notice. ©2021 The Ayco Company, L.P., d/b/a Goldman Sachs Ayco Personal Financial Management. All Rights Reserved. Brokerage services are offered through Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and Mercer Allied Company, L.P. (a limited purpose broker-dealer), both affiliates of Ayco and members FINRA/SIPC.
Additional materials and revisions by © 2021 United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC d/b/a Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management. All Rights Reserved.
United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC d/b/a Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management (“GS PFM”) is a registered investment adviser and an affiliate of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and subsidiary of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., a worldwide, full-service investment banking, broker-dealer, asset management, and financial services organization.
The information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only, is not a recommendation to buy or sell any securities, and should not be considered investment advice. GS PFM does not provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. Clients should obtain their own independent legal, tax, or accounting advice based on their particular circumstances. Please contact your financial adviser with questions about your specific needs and circumstances.
Information and opinions expressed by individuals other than GS PFM employees do not necessarily reflect the view of GS PFM. Information and opinions expressed in this article are as of the date of this material only and subject to change without notice.