While people should be saving for retirement as soon as possible, many young people don’t, either because they’re paying off student loans, or because saving can be overwhelming after having spent years paying off debts. Over at Kiplinger, Rivan V. Stinson writes that while she started saving for retirement when she was 23, “that isn’t everyone’s story.” So, she offers some guidance for how people in their 30s can begin saving for retirement.
“Before you open a retirement savings account anywhere, you need to decide how much you can save without creating stress on your budget,” writes Stinson. “The general advice is to invest 10% to 12% of your earnings as soon as you start working.” Of course, those beginning their savings journey later rather than sooner may need to bring that percentage up to at least 15%.
A retirement savings calculator can help estimate how much is needed to save based on annual salary, contribution rate, projected returns, and potential raises. Some employers that offer retirement plans often provide such a calculator. If not, BankRate has one.
If saving 15% isn’t feasible, it can be brought down to a lower percentage, then brought up as one’s salary increases. Those still paying off student loans or other debt should at least contribute enough to get the employer match.
Signing up for auto-escalation can also help. Auto-escalation, which is offered by many 401(k) plans, automatically raises the contribution by one percentage point every year until a certain threshold — usually 15% — is reached.
Contributions to a traditional 401(k) are made on a pretax basis, which lowers taxable income and reduces what’s owed at tax time. For 2022, employees can contribute up to $20,500 to a 401(k) or another employer-provided plan.
Those without access to a retirement plan through work can set up a traditional or Roth IRA. With a traditional IRA, a portion of or all contributions are deductible, depending on whether you have access to a retirement savings plan at work.
While contributions to a Roth account are after tax, withdrawals are tax-free if the participant is 59.5 years old and has owned the Roth for at least five years. For 2022, participants can contribute up to $6,000 a year to a traditional IRA, a Roth, or a combination of the two.
For Millennials signing up for an employer-sponsored plan, a target-date fund is generally the path of least resistance. Participants can select a fund that’s closest to the year they plan to retire. Once they sign up, professionals decide which funds to buy and how much to invest in stocks and bonds. The closer the investor gets to their retirement age, the more the fund ratchets down its risk exposure.
Nationwide offers a variety of actively managed ETFs for advisors that cater to a range of investment exposures and strategies within the major indexes for those seeking retirement income options for their clients.
For more news, information, and strategy, visit the Retirement Income Channel.