Some Retirement Strategies For All Ages: A "To-Do" List. A successful retirement depends largely on the steps you take during different stages of your life. Here are some rough guidelines. Your 20s and 30s (Early Career) It usually makes sense to contribute to IRAs, 401(K), Keoghs, 403(b) and other retirement savings plans while meeting other goals, such as buying a home or starting a family. Obviously, keep your debt from credit cards and other sources manageable. If you don't already own a home, consider if this is a good option for you. While a home purchase can be expensive, it also can be an excellent investment and source of tax breaks. Ask your licensed financial advisor to discuss investment options with a higher potential return. These are the years you might consider the extra risk associated with aggressive investments. Your 40s and 50s (Mid-Career) You will probably be advised to continue with any IRAs, 401(K), Keoghs and other retirement savings accounts. Once you reach age 50, you can make "catch-up" (extra) contributions to IRAs, 401(K), and other retirement savings accounts. If you haven't bought a house already, again consider doing so as a source of equity and a place to live in retirement. If you have a mortgage, periodically compare your interest rate to current market rates. If current rates are better, consider refinancing. As you get closer to retirement, consider reducing riskier investments and adding more conservative, income-producing investments. Again, seek advice from your investment advisor. Your Early 60s (Late Career) Get educated on Social Security! There are actually many claiming strategies that you should consider. For example, there are numerous implications if you "retire early" or if you delay retirement. Discuss with a financial advisor when to withdraw money from your tax-deferred retirement accounts, such as employer-sponsored retirement plans and traditional IRAs. After age 59 ½, you can withdraw some funds without penalty but all withdrawals are usually subject to income taxes.
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Retirement Income Certified Professional is a program that enables financial professionals achieve and demonstrate a high level of competence in retirement income planning. A Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP®) is a recognized and highly respected designation in the financial services industry.