Planning for your retirement can be a scary prospect. To help make the process easier for you, here are some general tips on how to make sure that your twilight years are as comfortable as possible.
Before you start squirreling away money for your retirement, you will need to think long and hard about exactly what kind of life you want to live after you are done being part of the workforce. If you want to live an opulent life of luxury, then by all means, you should save every spare nickel and dime that you have. However, if you want to live a simpler life, then you might not actually need to save as much as you think.
Although it is quite morbid, consider how long your retirement will last. At what age will you retire? Do you want to wait for Social Security to kick in? Do you have a genetic predisposition to diseases that might cut your life short? These questions are incredibly important when determining how much you want to save. Of course, saving too much money isn't a bad thing. In the worst case scenario, you can still pass it along to your heirs.
Employer Savings Plan
Your most efficient way of paying for your retirement is going to being your employer's savings plan, commonly known as a 401k. A 401k is a fund that you put money into out of every paycheck. The terms for accessing the money in a 401k can vary, but your best option is to leave it alone until you decide to retire.
Any money that you put into your 401k will be multiplied by some factor (1.5 is common). This means that your company will put $50 into your 401k for every $100 that you put in. There is usually an annual limit for how much you can deposit, but if you really want to have a nice retirement, you should try to hit that limit every year. This will maximize the amount of money that you have to play with later.
Investing your money outside of your 401k can also net you some nice benefit. If you do go down the investment route, try to put your money in relatively safe options, such as bonds. Avoid high risk investments and you should be set. You might even considering hiring someone to manage your portfolio, depending on the amount you are planning on investing.