Start preparing for your future and retirement today

There are many ways to begin investing in your future, but so many people cannot afford to save much of their income every week, every month – or even once a year. We all know, financial security in retirement doesn’t just happen. It takes planning, commitment, and some sort of monetary investment.

Did You Know?

  • Less than half of Americans have planned for their later years or retirement?
  • On average, Americans live for 20 retirement years.
  • In 2012, 30 percent of private industry workers with access to a defined contribution plan (such as a 401(k) plan) did not participate.
  • Statistics from 2012 show only 70 percent of private industry workers participated in the contribution plan, such as a 401(k)-plan available to them.

If you make a small commitment now to save for your future, it will become a habit that will greatly benefit you in years to come.

Important Tips

1. Start saving, keep saving, and stick to your goals

If you are already saving, whether for retirement or another goal, keep going! You know that saving is a rewarding habit. If you’re not saving, it’s time to get started. The earlier in life you start, the more you’ll have when you need it.

Start small if you have to and try to increase the amount you save each month. Make saving for retirement a priority. Devise a plan, set goals, and stick to it. Remember, it’s never too early or too late to start saving.

2. Consider a Precious Metals IRA

Precious metals are the safe-haven asset of choice. The attributes that make precious metals a safe investment naturally extend to a Precious Metals IRA, in which real, physical metals are held in your account.

Unlike paper assets, which may become devalued in a future crisis, the value of precious metals can never fall to zero. Nothing brings peace of mind like knowing your retirement assets are stored away for use when you want. Click here for more information.

3. Know your retirement needs

Retirement is expensive. Experts estimate that you will need at least 70 percent of your preretirement income – lower earners, 90 percent or more – to maintain your standard of living when you stop working. Take charge of your financial future. The key to a secure retirement is to plan.

4. Contribute to your employer’s retirement savings plan

If your employer offers a retirement savings plan, such as a 401(k) plan, sign up, and contribute all you can. Your taxes will be lower, your company may kick in more, and automatic deductions make it easy. Over time, compound interest and tax deferrals make a big difference in the amount you will accumulate.

Find out about your plan. For example, how much would you need to contribute to get the full employer contribution, and how long would you need to stay in the plan to get that money?

5. Learn about your employer’s pension plan

If your employer has a traditional pension plan, check to see if you are covered by the plan and understand how it works. Ask for an individual benefit statement to see what your benefit is worth.

Before you change jobs, find out what will happen to your pension benefit. Learn what benefits you may have from a previous employer. Find out if you will be entitled to benefits from your spouse’s plan.

6. Consider basic investment principles

How you save can be as important as how much you save. Inflation and the type of investments you make play important roles in how much you’ll have saved once you retire. Know how your savings or pension plan is invested. Learn about your plan’s investment options and ask questions. Put your savings in different types of investments.

By diversifying this way, you are more likely to reduce risk and improve return. Your investment mix may change over time depending on several factors, such as your age, goals, and financial circumstances. Financial security and knowledge go hand in hand.

7. Don’t touch your retirement savings

If you withdraw your retirement savings prematurely, you may lose principal and interest – and you may lose tax benefits or have to pay withdrawal penalties. Although, if you are transferring or roll over to a Precious Metals IRA, you can do so without penalty. If you change jobs, leave your savings invested in your current retirement plan, or roll them over to an IRA or your new employer’s plan.

8. Ask your employer to start a plan

If your employer doesn’t offer a retirement plan, suggest that they start one. There are many retirement saving plan options available. Your employer may be able to set up a simplified plan that can help both you and them.

9. Put money into an Individual Retirement Account

You can put up to $5,500 a year into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA); you can contribute even more if you are 50 or older. You can also start with much less. IRAs also provide tax advantages. When you open an IRA, you have options – a traditional IRA, Roth IRA, or Precious Metals IRA.

The tax treatment of your contributions and withdrawals will depend on which option you select. Also, the after-tax value of your withdrawal will depend on inflation and the type of IRA you choose. IRAs can provide an easy way to save. You can set it up so that an amount is automatically deducted from your checking or savings account and deposited in the IRA.

A Precious Metals IRA gives you the advantage of moving funds from your current IRA to having precious metals such as silver or gold physically held in your account. The intention of investing in precious metals through your IRA is to have your funds increase if the value of your investment increases.

10. Find out about your Social Security benefits

Social Security pays benefits that are on average equal to about 40 percent of what you earned before retirement. You may be able to estimate your benefit by using the retirement estimator on their website. For more information on estimating your benefits, visit their website or call 1-800-772-1213.

11. Always Ask Questions

While these tips are meant to point you in the right direction, it’s important to speak with an adviser. Get informed before making any investments that require more money than what you consider to be reasonable. Check with the U.S. Department of Labor for more information and talk to your employer, bank, union, or financial adviser. Ask questions and make sure you understand the answers. You’ll be happy later in life that you began preparing for your future today.

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