A. The first step to preparing for retirement is to select the right financial planner.
Having an expert on your side is always a good idea! The right financial advisor can make the difference between a comfortable retirement and not being able to retire at all. Be careful to do your homework when selecting an advisor. Anyone can call themselves an advisor, so make sure they have the right credentials. At a minimum, your advisor should be a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). This status is awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards and must be maintained by the advisor through ongoing education.
B. Next, max out your best savings options.
If your employer offers a 401(k), find a way to take advantage of it, ideally maxing out your contributions, if possible. This is especially valuable if your employer offers a “match”, whereby they contribute to your account by matching your contributions up to a certain limit. You can think of the matching contributions as an instant return on your investment. When you put in one dollar and your employer matches that, you just made a 100% return on that dollar! Where else can you get returns like that?
C. Lastly, educate yourself.
Spending a little less time surfing the Internet for pure entertainment and a little more time investing in your financial future through education just makes sense. Here are a few websites to get you started:
Whether you are facing retirement in the next few years or decades from now, it’s never too late to get started. Make a commitment to investing time and money in your future and get started today!
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