Articles Three Tools to Help You Reach Your Retirement Savings Goals

July 18, 2016

Saving money for the near future can be difficult. Saving money for retirement, which for some may be decades away, can feel downright impossible. But it is possible. In fact, there are plenty of options when it comes to retirement savings vehicles, such as IRAs and 401(k) accounts. Deciding how you’re going to save for retirement depends on what your goals are, and there are a variety of online tools and calculators designed to help you assess your retirement savings needs and plan for the future. Here are three to consider:

1. Retirement savings calculators. Before you start saving, it helps to know where you stand. The first step: use an online calculator to figure out about how much money it will take to maintain your lifestyle and ensure a comfortable retirement. This will help you determine how much you need to save to grow your nest egg. You can also use financial calculators to track how much you're saving and estimate how long it will take you to reach your retirement savings goals. Another option is to talk to a qualified financial advisor to help you get started on the right path.

2. Employer-sponsored savings programs. Perhaps one of the easiest ways to begin saving for retirement is to take advantage of your employer's retirement savings program. These plans will vary based on the employer. Those who work for a private company may have the option to participate in a 401(k) program. With a 401(k) plan, contributions are automatically deducted from your paycheck each pay period and invested on your behalf. You decide how much you want to contribute (aim to contribute the maximum allowable amount), and in some cases, employers will offer a matching contribution. Another perk of having a 401(k): it's transferrable should you choose to switch jobs. Many public school and tax-exempt employers will offer something similar to a 401(k), called a 403(b). With this plan, employees save for retirement by contributing to individual accounts just like they would with a 401(k), but with the additional option of contributing to a separate Roth IRA account. If you're a federal government employee or a servicemember, you'll have the option of participating in a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). This tax-deferred savings plan is similar to a 401(k) plan in that contributions are automatically deducted from your paycheck. Talk to your employer about how to contribute.

3. Traditional or Roth IRAs. IRAs can be a big asset when it comes to earning and setting aside funds for retirement. A Traditional IRA allows you to earmark a portion of your income, and if you meet certain income guidelines, you can take a tax deduction for your contributions. A Roth IRA is similar to a Traditional IRA, but you’ll use after-tax dollars to fund the account, and Roth withdrawals are tax-free if you meet certain requirements. Both accounts offer tax breaks, but have different eligibility and withdrawal requirements. Click here for information on eligibility requirements. No matter what tools you use or what type–or types–of retirement savings plans you decide to go with, Navy Federal Credit Union has the resources you need to help you reach your savings goals and be better prepared for your financial future.

Navy Federal Credit Union is federally insured by NCUA.

Nondeposit investment and insurance products are offered through Navy Federal Financial Group, LLC, (NFFG), and through its subsidiaries, Navy Federal Brokerage Services, LLC (NFBS), a member of FINRA/SIPC, and Navy Federal Asset Management, LLC (NFAM), an SEC Registered Investment Advisory Firm. These products are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guaranteed or obligations of the credit union, are not offered, recommended, sanctioned, or encouraged by the Federal Government, and may involve investment risk, including possible loss of principal. Products may be offered by an employee who serves both functions of accepting member deposits and selling nondeposit investment and insurance products. 1-877-221-8108.

© 2016 Navy Federal Credit Union. All rights reserved.

Navy Federal Credit Union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration.

Nondeposit products offered through Navy Federal Brokerage Services, LLC (NFBS), member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance products sold through licensed agents appointed with various companies. Investment advisory services offered through Navy Federal Asset Management, LLC (NFAM). NFBS and NFAM operate under the marketing name of Navy Federal Investments & Insurance. Nondeposit investment products are not federally insured, are not obligations of the credit union, are not guaranteed by the credit union or any affiliated entity, and involve investment risks, including loss of principal, and may be offered by an employee who serves both functions of accepting members' deposits and the selling of nondeposit investment products. NFBS and NFAM products are not offered, recommended, sanctioned or encouraged by the Federal Government. Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction, 12851 Worldgate Drive, Herndon, VA 20170; phone 1-877-221-8108; fax 703-332-0424.

Investors should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses associated with municipal fund securities before investing. This and other information about municipal fund securities is available in the issuer's official statement which can be obtained directly from the issuer, or if distributed through a broker dealer, may be obtained from a financial adviser, and should be read carefully before investing.

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If a municipal fund security describes one or more of their investment options as having the characteristics of a money market fund, it is important to know that an investment in the security is not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC or any other government agency (unless such guarantee is specifically provided by or on behalf of such issuer) and, if the security is held out as maintaining a stable net asset value, that although the issuer seeks to preserve the value of the investment at $1.00 per share or such other applicable fixed share price, it is possible to lose money by investing in the security.