Retirement planning involves evaluating your current financial position and creating an accumulation strategy that can help ensure a desired retirement lifestyle. Because an individual's retirement years can span decades, retirement planning generally dominates other financial goals. A successful plan put into place during the wealth-building years should address ways to manage growth and tax-efficient distributions, as well as how to leave assets to the next generation.
There are several ways to save for retirement:
- Qualified plans are employer-sponsored retirement plans such as 401(k)s, 403(b)s and pension plans. While there are contribution limits and strict distribution rules, these plans are popular because of their tax benefits. Generally, employers will make participation even more attractive by matching all or a portion of an employee's contribution.
- IRAs are inexpensive, easy to establish and maintain, and may also offer favorable tax incentives.
- You may find that qualified plans, IRAs and social security will not provide enough money to support your desired retirement lifestyle. By identifying your retirement gap, you can develop a strategy for personal savings invested outside of traditional retirement vehicles.
At the heart of retirement planning is the distribution of accumulated assets helping ensure your desired retirement lifestyle. Distribution planning is paramount to a successful retirement plan.