title:A Guide to Preparing for Retirement author:John Mussi source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/business_and_finance/article_5707.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:07 category:business_and_finance article:

It is everyone’s hope to be able to retire in relative comfort in their later years, after they’ve paid their dues and worked hard at their chosen profession for what may seem like the majority of their life. Unfortunately, many people find retirement a much loftier goal than they had originally envisioned? though they’ve spent years working, it seems that they neglected to build a savings or make plans for the money that they would need for the day-to-day expenses of living.
Luckily, it doesn’t take much to establish plans on how to pay for your retirement and those plans can generally be put into action quite easily. Here are a few suggestions that you might want to think about and possibly incorporate into your own retirement plans.
Start Saving Early
The first thing that you can do to help ensure that you’ll have the money you need to retire on is to begin saving for your retirement earlier in life. As soon as you can afford to, begin putting money into a savings account that was opened specifically for building up savings for your retirement. Many banks have specialized retirement accounts that offer slightly better interest rates but which carry fines for early or excessive withdrawal. This might be just the thing for individuals who find it difficult to simply leave money in the bank for long periods of time? they can still access the money if needed, but they’ll have to pay the fines associated with it as well.
Make Smart Investments
A well-diversified stock portfolio can help to build up a retirement fund as the years go by. Some specialized stock plans (such as IRA’s) are even designed for retirement planning and have special features such as tax deferral until the plan is cashed in after retirement. These plans aren’t a necessity if you’re wanting to help build a retirement fund using the stock market, however; carefully choosing stocks that will likely perform well over a long-term investment that are balanced by mutual funds, precious metal and industrial indexes, and a variety of bonds and other investments can do just as well without a specialized investment plan.
Consider Retirement Plans from Work
Most workplaces have some form of retirement plan available for employees, though these plans may vary from one employer to the next. Pension funds, while once quite common, are beginning to be offered less and less often in favor of employer-sponsored investment plans (such as 401(k) plans) and other types of retirement benefits. The various retirement plans that are offered by employers can differ greatly, and there are some employers that offer no retirement benefits at all. It’s important to check with your employer before assuming whether any retirement plans are offered or not.
Plan for the Long Term
Whether you’re utilizing bank features such as savings accounts and certificates of deposit, considering various investment plans through your preferred broker, or relying on the retirement plans that are offered by your employer, it’s important that you keep the long-term goal of having the money that you need to pay for your retirement in mind. Weigh your options carefully and choose the retirement plan or plans (because you can do a little bit of everything if you want to) that are right for you and your retirement funding. Remember, it’s never to early to start planning for the days of your retirement? and it’s never to late, either.

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