Retirement planning involves evaluating your current financial standing and creating an accumulation strategy that will help to ensure a desired retirement lifestyle. Because an individual's retirement years can span decades, retirement planning generally dominates other financial goals. A successful plan put into place during the wealth-building lifespan should address ways to maximize growth and tax-efficient distributions, as well as how to leave retirement assets to the next generation.
There are several ways to save for retirement:
- Qualified employer-sponsored plans
- Individual retirement accounts (IRAs)
- Personal savings
- Executive deferral plans
Qualified plans are employer-sponsored retirement plans such as 401(k)s and pension plans. While there are contribution limits and strict distribution rules, these plans are popular because of their tax benefits. Generally, employers will make participation even more attractive by matching all or a portion of an employee's contribution.
IRAs are inexpensive, easy to establish and maintain, and also offer favorable tax incentives. They can be created by an individual or provided by an employer. Most people use IRAs to consolidate retirement savings that were previously held in employer-sponsored plans. Our process coordinates your IRA investments with your other savings plans.
You may find that qualified plans, IRAs, and social security will not provide enough money to support your desired retirement lifestyle. By identifying your retirement gap, you can develop a strategy for personal savings invested outside of the traditional retirement vehicles.
Business owners or executives may have access to other tax-advantaged retirement savings vehicles. Nonqualified executive compensation is a generic term used to describe a compensation arrangement that provides retirement income—and, in some cases, death benefits—to key employees of a business.
At the heart of any retirement plan is the distribution of accumulated assets. The correct distribution method will help to ensure that your retirement savings last beyond your lifetime with minimum shrinkage from taxes. From premature distribution options that allow access to retirement assets prior to age 59½ to products intended to provide stable monthly payments for retirement, distribution planning is paramount to a successful retirement plan.