Post # 1
I’ve always been really good with money, always been a saver. But I feel like I need to be doing more with it other than put it in my money market savings account that literally earns a couple bucks a month.
Fiance and I both have 401K’s. My company matches 100% up to 3% and then it will match 50% up to to 5%. Right now I just put the 3% in.
Right now all our savings our going to the wedding, but after the wedding, we want to sit down and budget out money and savings. I don’t want to be working until I’m dead, there’s no amazing inheritances coming either of our ways, and let’s face it-we’ll probably never see Social Security at our age.
So what do you do to save for retirement? Should we start contributing more to our 401k’s, should we start Roth IRA’s? I know literally nothing about stocks/bonds/cd’s. I try reading about it but it’s like Chinese to me.
Are IRA’s risky? I always hear all these horror stories about the economy and people losing all thier 401K savings and it scares the crap out of me.
So anyways, I’m just curious as to how you save for the future. I have a friend who is a financial planner that I plan on sitting down with, but just curious as to what others do.
Post # 8
You need to meet with a fee-only financial planner. They will help you figure out how much you need for retirement and what contributions you need to make. Also, one of the big reasons people get in trouble with retirement is not taking enough risk. It sounds crazy, but if your young, you need to take some smart risks (stocks) in order to earn enough interest to beat inflation. A financial planner can help you understand how to divide your investments between stocks, bonds, etc. based on your age.
Post # 9
I max out my 401k and Roth IRAs every year. Roth is best to get started as early as possible so it can start growing, and everything that it makes it tax free. 401k is pre taxed money and tax deferred, so right off the bat, you have 25-30% more money to invest and work for you depending on your tax bracket. IMO, if you’re saving for retirement, nothing can beat the leg up that tax free contributions of 401k gives you. Take ANYTHING your employer will match, even 50%. If you get these started now and max it out, you can always decrease it later if you find you need more cash on hand, but the money in there already will have more time to work for you and grow and time is the key.
Post # 10
@Robin_Sparkles: Maximize your company’s matching and if you can, maximize your IRA as well.
Post # 11
Agree with this totally! OP, the key is “fee-only.” Other financial planners work on commission and will try to sell you investments that may not be in your best interest.
I don’t even think you need a financial planner necessarily, just a few basic books. I would start with Ramit Sethi’s I Will Teach You To Be Rich for personal finance and Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing for investing.
Post # 12
You’re throwing away free money right now by not taking advantage of the 50% matching up to 5% on your 401k. Start by kicking that up to AT LEAST 5%.
An IRA is a good deal if you think your taxes now will be less than your taxes when you retire (since that is after-tax income). We hedge our bets by contributing to both. You can only put $5000 a year into an IRA, so we max that out, and then put 15% of my income into my 401k. My husband gets a pension, so that is additional income on top of our savings.
We’ve done our 401k and IRA investments to mostly track the DOW and S&P500, and have made really substantial gains in the past few years. We’re feeling pretty secure about things at the moment!
Post # 13
Also, it should be said that you can change how your money is allocated within the 401k/IRA at any time. You can move it from stocks to bonds or to straight cash if you see the economy headed to a big dip again. People lost their life savings because they didn’t think a dip that big could happen, and did not take action. We know now that it can – so I think our generation will be a little quicker to act in the future.
Post # 14
Fiance and I attended a free retirement workshop through our work (we work at a university), and have another one planned later this year. It was a 6 week course. Just a nice way to get educated on some things and they showed us a ladder worksheet.
Basically we try to max out as many accounts as we can. We have two ROTHs, two 457b, a 403b and HSA account. Then – thankfully – our work puts in 14.2% of our salaries each into a 401a (no contributions are allowed to this one) on top of that.
I visit once a year with my TIAA-CREF person to help me allocate my accounts. We rebalance annually too. Perhaps wherever you have your current retirements with will have some planning suggestions for you, or you can go with a financial planner like others suggested.