Five Ways to Save For Retirement

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If you’re already saving for retirement, you’re on your way to a more financially secure retirement. It’s essential that you continue to save and explore other strategies that may be appropriate for your situation. Here are five retirement strategies that can help you save for your retirement:

1. 401(k)

A 401(k) is a tax-deferred retirement savings plan offered by employers that fund with pre-tax contributions, which grow tax-free. Distributions are taxed at the owner’s tax rate and are penalty-free unless the owner is under age 59 1/2 and will also take an early distribution penalty of 10%.

There is no income limit to participate in a 401(k), but there is a yearly contribution limit. Your financial professional can help you understand your contribution limits and if your 401(k) strategies are appropriate for your risk tolerance, timeline, and goals.

2. Roth IRAs

Roth IRAs fund with after-tax contributions, so you pay taxes upfront. When you take distributions, both the contribution and accumulation are tax-free. Contributions are withdrawn tax and penalty-free for emergencies, home purchases, and more. However, drawing the account’s accumulation before age 59 1/2 will result in a 10% IRS penalty.

Anyone can open a Roth IRA at any age, as long as they have income. But income limits apply for those who are eligible to contribute generally vary yearly. Reach out to your financial and tax professionals to determine if you are eligible to contribute and the contribution limits for this year.

3. Traditional IRAs

Traditional IRAs fund with pre-tax contributions, which grow tax-deferred. IRA contributions and accumulation are taxed at the owner’s tax rate and are penalty-free if taken after age 59 1/2 when taken as distributions. If distributions occur before age 59 1/2, they tax as ordinary income, and an early distribution penalty of 10% applies. Here are a few more things to know about Traditional IRAs:

  • Traditional IRAs have no income limits to contribute
  • If you’re eligible for the tax deduction on your contributions, you can claim it whether or not you itemize deductions on your tax return.
  • If you participate in your employer’s retirement savings plan, you may not be eligible to contribute to a traditional IRA.

4. Fixed-indexed annuities

Fixed-indexed annuities are contracts purchased directly from an insurance company or a financial institution. Annuities are bought with a one-time or series of payments over time. A feature of annuities is that they provide income for life and protect against market risk.

Fixed-indexed annuities offer tax efficiency while they grow; they lock in gains based on market performance. However, the annuity protects the accumulation and initial investment when the market declines. Another benefit of annuities is that they provide a guaranteed death benefit of the initial investment and can include survivor benefits as a rider for an additional cost.

5. Defined contribution plans

Defined contribution plans allow an executive to delay part of their income until the future, reducing their taxable income now. Deferred comp plans are limited to executives and not all employees. Deferred comp plans also defer taxes on compensation until the executive accesses it later. If the executive leaves the company, the deferred comp plan can transfer into another tax-advantaged retirement savings account. The deferred comp agreement between the executive and their employer generally outlines:

  • The amount of income to be deferred may include a portion of salary, bonuses, or other eligible cash payments.
  • The deferral period schedule when the executive will take the income and the timeline until it depletes.
  • The initial investment including the deferred income and any growth earned. The deferred payment is not placed into an investment strategy but designated for accounting purposes into a portion of the company.

Talk to a professional

Now that you know five retirement savings options, contact your financial professional to determine which are appropriate for your situation, retirement savings goals, and timeline.

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