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Are You Ready for Retirement? Tips To Get on Track

Apr 12, 2012, 9:55 a.m.

When it comes to planning for retirement, there are many factors to consider. For instance, when is the ideal time to retire? How much should you save and contribute annually? How do you know which type of retirement investments will fit your needs, goals and risk tolerance?

“Retirement today is, not surprisingly, being redefined for many people,” says Lule Demmissie, managing director of investment products and retirement at TD Ameritrade Inc., a broker dealer subsidiary of TD Ameritrade Holding Corp.

In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average life expectancy is now 78 years. In addition, the Families and Work Institute reports that nearly 75 percent of people age 50 and older expect to work during retirement. “If you’re not prepared, you may find yourself having to work in some capacity to supplement your retirement savings. For some, this may not be an available option due to health issues as they get older,” says Demmissie. “So taking careful consideration when planning for your financial future can help you retire when the time is right for you and your family.”

With that in mind, Demmissie shares the following retirement planning tips:

Focus on the key areas

There are four areas that can directly impact your retirement plan — your budget, resources, investments and lifestyle:

Lifestyle — Consider factors such as where you live, what hobbies you will pursue, and whether or not you will continue to work in some capacity.

Budget — Make sure you have a clear understanding of your expenses during retirement, from medical needs to the cost of housing and inflation.

Resources — Determine where your money will come from during retirement.

Investments — Develop a plan that will try to make your money last throughout your retirement.

Utilize online resources

In addition to focusing on the key areas, there are a number of free online resources that can help investors, including TD Ameritrade’s online retirement center, www.tdameritrade.com/retire.

Understand the benefits of a Roth IRA versus a Traditional IRA

It’s also important to keep in mind that retirement accounts can lead to tax benefits, such as:

Roth IRA — Affords the ability for tax-free growth and federal tax-free withdrawals (for those investors meeting IRS requirements, such as age).

Traditional IRA — The ability to deduct contributions on your income taxes now and pay the taxes when you make qualified withdrawals in retirement. In the meantime, savers can benefit from tax-free growth in the account.

“While some may think they’re too young to begin planning for retirement, it’s actually never too soon,” advises Demmissie. “It can be difficult to understand the different plans, but there are many resources available to make the decision making process easier. It’s important to ensure that you are prepared for retirement, with the tools and knowledge to live the life you’ve worked for, and the ability to enjoy retirement when the time is right.”

For help deciding which retirement plan may be right for you, visit www.tdameritrade.com/retire. Provided by: TD Ameritrade, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC /NFA TD Ameritrade does not provide tax or legal advice. It is recommended that you consult with a tax advisor regarding your personal tax situation.

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