College funding or planning for retirement books many times are needed by parents or grandparents years before the student will be ready to make his/her own decisions. Many of these books can be ordered online, which makes it sometimes difficult to quickly determine what is available. If you are like me, sometimes you like looking at more than one book before making a decision about what is important for your son or daughter’s future financial well-being.
Books offer a wonderful resource for learning and improving yourself. They can provide you with the wisdom of others to help you in life and business. If you are looking for new books on planning for retirement, here are some suggestions worth reading.
If you tend to procrastinate when it comes to retirement planning, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, many people wait until the very last minute before they realize they need to start planning for retirement. Until now, the only way to start planning was to spend hours at your local library scouring through books and research papers on the subject matter. But thanks to today’s technological advances, there are a plethora of books that can help you learn more about retirement planning through a Kindle or a similar e-reader.
There are hundred books written by thousands of authors that deals with the subject of retirement. With such a vast collection of information that deals with finances and investment, it is hard to think straight and prioritize which book you should read first.
About Retirement Planning
In the simplest sense, retirement planning is the planning that one does to be prepared for life after paid work ends, not just financially but in all aspects of life. The non-financial aspects include lifestyle choices such as how to spend time in retirement, where to live, when to quit working altogether, etc. A holistic approach to retirement planning considers all these areas.
The emphasis that one puts on retirement planning changes throughout different life stages. Early in a person’s working life, retirement planning is about setting aside enough money for retirement. During the middle of your career, it might also include setting specific income or asset targets and taking steps to achieve them.
Retirement planning starts with thinking about your retirement goals and how long you have to meet them. Then you need to look at the types of retirement accounts that can help you raise the money to fund your future. As you save that money, you have to invest it to enable it to grow.
The surprise last part is taxes: If you’ve received tax deductions over the years for the money that you’ve contributed to your retirement accounts, then a significant tax bill awaits when you start withdrawing those savings. There are ways to minimize the retirement tax hit while you save for the future—and to continue the process when that day arrives and you actually do retire.
Social Security is part of the retirement plan for almost every American worker. It provides replacement income for qualified retirees and their families. This section of our website helps you better understand the program, the application process, and the online tools and resources available to you.
The 5 steps of retirement planning
Retirement planning has several steps, with the end goal of having enough money to quit working and do whatever you want. Our aim with this retirement planning guide is to help you achieve that goal.
Step 1: Know when to start retirement planning
When should you start retirement planning? In a word, now. In three words, in your 20s. The earlier you start planning, the more time your money has to grow.
That said, it’s never too late to start retirement planning. Even if you haven’t so much as considered retirement, don’t feel like your ship has sailed. Every dollar you can save now will be much appreciated later. Strategically invest and you won’t be playing catch-up for long.
Step 2: Figure out how much money you need to retire
The amount of money you need to retire is a function of your current income and expenses, and how you think those expenses will change in retirement.
The typical advice is to replace 70% to 90% of your annual pre-retirement income through savings and Social Security.
For example, a retiree who earns an average of $63,000 per year before retirement should expect to need $44,000 to $57,000 per year in retirement.
Step 3: Prioritize your financial goals
Retirement is probably not your only savings goal. Lots of people have financial goals they feel are more pressing, such as paying down credit card or student loan debt or building up an emergency fund.
Generally, you should aim to save for retirement at the same time you’re building your emergency fund — especially if you have an employer retirement plan that matches any portion of your contributions.
Step 4: Choose the best retirement plan for you
A cornerstone of retirement planning is determining not only how much to save, but also where to save it.
If you have a 401(k) or other employer retirement plan with matching dollars, consider starting there.
If you don’t have a workplace retirement plan, you can open your own retirement account.
There is no single best retirement plan, but there is likely a best retirement plan — or combination of retirement accounts — for you. In general, the best plans provide tax advantages, and, if available, an additional savings incentive, such as matching contributions. That’s why, in many cases, a 401(k) with an employer match is the best place to start for many people.
If you don’t have access to a workplace plan (or the one you’re offered doesn’t come with a match), or you’re already contributing to a 401(k) and you’re looking for the best options for additional retirement savings, you may want to consider an IRA. This is a plan you open yourself at an online broker or other account provider. An IRA is hardly a consolation prize.
Here are seven types of retirement plans that might work for you. Click the links to read more about how each one works.
- Roth IRA
- Traditional IRA
- Self-directed IRA
- Simple IRA
- SEP IRA
- Solo 401(k)
Step 5: Select your retirement investments
Retirement accounts provide access to a range of investments, including stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Determining the right mix of investments depends on how long you have until you need the money and how comfortable you are with risk.
Generally, the idea is to invest aggressively when you’re young, and then slowly dial back to a more conservative mix of investments as you approach retirement age. That’s because early on you have a lot of time for your money to weather market fluctuations — a few bad years won’t ruin you, and your nest egg should benefit greatly from the stock market’s history of long-term growth. Investing for retirement evolves alongside you as you change jobs, add to your family tree, endure stock market ups and downs and get closer to your retirement due date.
Your investments don’t necessarily require constant babysitting. If you want to manage your retirement savings on your own, you can do it with just a handful of low-cost mutual funds. Those who prefer professional guidance can hire a financial advisor.