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Planning for Retirement

Retired, happy couple

Planning for Retirement

Planning for retirement is about more than making sure that you have enough money. Determining your retirement goals and how you will meet them is equally important.


Begin with a Self-Assessment

The first step to retirement planning should be assessing your wants and needs during this time of your life. You and your spouse should ask yourselves:

  • Do I (we) want to work after retirement? If so, what would I (we) like to do and what are my (our) options?
  • What kind of lifestyle do I (we) want?
  • Do I (we) want to volunteer?
  • Do I (we) want to travel?
  • Do I (we) have any particular activities in mind?
  • Do I (we) have any hobbies I (we) want to pursue?
  • Do I (we) need any additional skills or knowledge to do what I (we) want?
  • Where do I (we) want to live?

Once you've completed your self-assessment, the next step is to gather any information you might need in order to set your goals and then formalize them.


Create a Plan

Now that you’ve determined your goals, you can create a plan to get there. There are a number of resources available for retirement planning, including our StraightTalk® Retirement Planning guide. We also recommend working with a CCU Wealth Strategies team member to help you create your financial plan. He or she can create a long-term financial strategy for you no matter how many years you have until retirement.


Building Your Nest Egg

There are many options that fall under the general term “financial plans.” These choices can be either individual plans or employer-related plans, and typically they have certain tax benefits over other savings and investment strategies. The most familiar individual plans are IRAs, or Individual Retirement Accounts. Employer-related plans may be “defined benefit plans,” which are traditional company pension plans that promise a specific monthly benefit upon retirement, or “defined contribution plans,” such as 401(k)s or profit-sharing plans, in which contributions by employees and employers are defined but the benefit to be paid is not.

Individual Retirement Account (IRA) - IRAs are a personal retirement savings plan that you can open at a credit union, bank, brokerage or other IRS-approved entity.

401(k) Plans - A 401(k) plan is similar to an IRA except that it is established by an employer. It is funded with your pre-tax salary contributions and possibly with matching contributions from your employer. Typically, larger contributions can be made to 401(k)s than to most IRAs. The money in your 401(k) account is tax-deferred until you withdraw the money.

Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) - A SEP plan is an IRA (SEP-IRA) that has been set up to receive contributions from your employer. You may also have a SEP-IRA if you are self-employed. The SEP-IRA is owned and controlled by you.

Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) - A SIMPLE is established by a small employer (including self-employed persons). This type of plan allows an employee to reduce their salary and have their employer contribute the salary reduction to a SIMPLE retirement account. The employer must also make contributions to the account. The SIMPLE retirement account can be either a SIMPLE IRA or as part of a 401(k) plan.

Employer Pension Plans -These plans are established by the employer for the benefit of the employee and vary by company. The pension plan will promise a specific monthly benefit upon retirement.

A CCU Wealth Strategies team member can help you with any aspects of retirement planning to help you reach your goals. Contact us for more information.

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