The year is halfway over. Are you on track to hit your savings goals? If not, don’t worry. It’s easy to get off track with your savings, especially when it comes to a long-term goal like retirement. After all, you may have other expenses—such as debt, emergency costs or child care—that seem more urgent.
Fortunately, you still have time left in the year to put money into your qualified retirement accounts. These accounts, like 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts (IRAs), offer tax-deferred growth. That means you don’t pay taxes on growth inside the accounts until you take a distribution.
Below are three commonly used qualified accounts and how they can help you save for retirement. You still have time left this year to ramp up your savings. Work with a financial professional to implement a savings strategy.
Are you self-employed? In many ways, you may feel like you’re living the dream. You get to set your own schedule, make your own rules and make a living by doing what you love. Self-employment can bring challenges and complications, but for many people, the benefits far outweigh the costs.
While self-employment may be fulfilling, it can present difficulties when it comes to saving for retirement. Traditional employees are able to participate in their employer’s 401(k) plan or pension. They may even receive a matching retirement contribution from their employer. Self-employed individuals don’t have that option.
You may believe that you can simply delay retirement as long as you want. Maybe you don’t have any desire to retire. However, chances are good that you will have to stop working at some point. You could become physically unable to work, or you may simply decide that you want to pursue other activities.
The good news is you can plan ahead by taking action today. Below are a few tips to help you prepare for retirement:
Since its inception nearly 40 years ago, the 401(k) has become one of the most commonly used retirement savings vehicles. It’s popular with employers because it relieves them of the burden of funding a pension. The 401(k) plan is popular with employees because it usually offers a broad range of investment options, tax-deferred growth and employer matching contributions.
While a 401(k) can be a powerful retirement accumulation tool, it can also be complex to manage, especially after you’ve left your employer. Many workers leave their 401(k) balances in their former employer’s plan after they leave. They may feel that’s their best option, or they may forget about the balance altogether.
However, many employers have decided they aren’t going to keep former employee balances in the plan forever. Many companies have adopted a policy known as “forced rollover.” Under a forced rollover, your balance is automatically rolled out of the plan and into an IRA. Most plans only enforce this type of rollover for balances under a certain threshold.
Are you thinking about retiring early? Maybe you’ve accumulated enough savings to retire in your 50s. Or maybe you’re facing a health issue or job loss that’s pushing you into retirement. No matter the reason, early retirement can present a number of unique challenges.
One of the biggest issues that early retirees face is taking distributions from their qualified retirement accounts, such as IRAs and 401(k) plans. These accounts are tax-deferred, which means there are no taxes on growth as long as the funds stay inside the account. However, distributions may be taxed as income. Additionally, if you withdraw funds from a 401(k) or an IRA before age 59½, you could face a 10 percent early distribution penalty.