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How to get started with a retirement plan

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 8:45 AM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - We hear a lot about saving for retirement, from diversifying your investments to creating a budget, but where do you start? Independent financial advisor Josh Smith of Strategic Wealth Designers says there are some key factors you should consider when creating a retirement plan. The first step? Figuring out how much you will need per month in retirement in order to calculate the amount you will need to accumulate.

“This initial number doesn’t factor in inflation, taxes, or any long-term care event,” Smith says. “So, this is just a starting point. You will also need to consider your goals. Do you want to leave a legacy behind for your family or are you trying to spend all that you save? Do you want to retire early, or do you love your job and want to work as long as you can? Asking yourself some of these questions will help you begin estimating the amount you need to save.”

While age correlates to a general time of retirement, it is more important for individuals to focus on how many years they are from their own retirement. This will dictate how aggressive you can be with your investment strategy. If you are young and have more than 15 years until you plan to retire, you can probably ‘afford’ more risk. While actively funding your 401(k), consider looking for low-cost investments like exchange-traded funds. Take advantage of the volatility of the stock market when the risk has less of an impact on your portfolio.

“Once you are inside 15 years to your retirement, you want to ensure you are creating more of a safety net with your portfolio,” Smith says. “You don’t have the same benefit of time in terms of being able to ride the waves of the stock market. At this point, you want to focus more on protecting what you have saved rather than growth because you don’t have the ability to bounce back and recover from any major falls.”

At 10 years out, you should start creating an income plan for retirement. If applicable, you should factor in social security, pensions, and your investments. To see additional stories surrounding business and economic news for the Lexington area, visit https://WKYT.com/MoneyMatters and if you have a question for Josh send an email to info@swdgroup.com.

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