18 Oct

Planning for Retirement Now

Planning for Retirement Now

No matter what age you are, the time to start planning for retirement is now. If you have no idea where to start, or just want to review your current plan, we’re here to help. By following these few pieces of advice, you can take your retirement savings plan up a notch and start seeing the real difference that saving early can make.

Contribute to Your 401(k)

Contributing to your 401(k) is the simplest way to start planning for your retirement. Even if it seems impossible when you’re struggling to pay off student debt, pay rent, and just afford to eat, focusing on setting aside a small amount every paycheck and contributing it to your 401(k) can make a huge difference in the long run.

Another benefit, is that most employers offer contribution matches to your 401(k). Meaning the amount that you put in, they will match up to a certain percentage, usually 3%. This is essentially free retirement money, so take full advantage and contribute at least the maximum amount that they will match. You should start contributing to your 401(k) as soon as possible.

Open an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA)

There are two types of IRAs, traditional and Roth – both with advantages depending on when you would like your contributions to be taxed. A traditional IRA allows you to contribute up to $5,500 per year and grows, tax-deferred, until retirement. With a Roth IRA, you can contribute the same amount per year, but the money is taxed now instead of when you remove it at retirement. RMLEFCU offers both types of IRAs, so you can pick the account that best suits your retirement savings needs. Learn more about our IRA options here.

Be Wise with Your Investments

The younger you are, the more aggressive you can be with your investments as you can handle the ups and downs of the long-term market. The older you get though, you likely want to start choosing more conservative investment options with less risk. If you know little to nothing about investing, instead of trying to decipher the world of stocks and mutual funds by yourself, it’s wise to enlist the help of a professional. Here at RMLEFCU, we have a great financial planning department that is ready to help you plan for retirement and long-term success.

Plan an Emergency Fund

Now that you’re contributing funds toward your retirement, you may think that you don’t need to save anything else. In the case of an emergency though, you’ll want to have a separate account set up with a decent amount of money that can be used for unexpected expenses instead of putting large expenses on a credit card or, even worse, using retirement savings. By setting up a separate savings account with an ideal amount of about 3 months living expenses saved up, you can maintain peace of mind that you will be able to handle any unfortunate emergency that might come up. Sometimes cars break down and dogs need to visit the vet. RMLEFCU offers both regular and custom savings accounts to help you with your specific savings goals. Check them out and see which is the better option for you.

Give yourself peace of mind by looking at the big picture and planning for retirement sooner rather than later. You’ll thank yourself in the long run and probably not even miss the simple expenses you might have to cut back on today. If you need help getting started planning for retirement and would like to speak with one of our financial advisors, give us a call at (303) 458-6660 or visit our website for more information.

 

 

05 Apr

Been There. Done That. Retirement Advice from a Fellow Cop.

Retirement Planning Advice for PoliceTerry Lucas served with the Illinois State Police for 28 years rising through progressively higher ranks mostly in the investigative field. Terry then served as the Law Enforcement Coordinator for the US Attorney’s office in the Central District of Illinois for 15 years. While with DOJ he served in Iraq assisting in the prosecution of Sadaam Hussein.

He has a few nuggets of advice for fellow cops.

On retirement planning: “You have to think outside of your pension.” Terry, father to five daughters, speaks from experience, “Don’t overlook something that is staring you in the face. Contribute to some kind of deferred compensation plan. Why not have that amount taken out before taxes and put into an account? It will hurt a lot less now than it will when you’re 55 and looking at starting over in another job.”

Asked for advice to cops nearing retirement age, he says, “Think very carefully about taking a large chunk of time off right after you sign those retirement papers to travel and just relax. Chances are you’re young enough that you’ll need to keep working, and the best time to get a job is when you already have one.” Read More

21 Mar

Getting Your Finances Ready for 2015 Part III: When Things Go Awry

doctors-xray-financial-challengesYou never know when disaster will strike. My mother was driving when she had a heart attack. Curveballs, or for the positive set, “challenges” do not announce their arrival with a polite knock.

A wise person once said, “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”

The worst may include:

  • Car accident
  • Medical diagnosis
  • Serious Injury
  • Job Loss
  • Fires and or Floods
  • Bankruptcy

Here are seven ways to GET PREPARED FINANCIALLY: Read More