(NewsUSA) – Whether you are new to the workforce or a seasoned pro, financial planning is the secret to long-term wealth, and it is never too early or too late to make a plan to live your best life in later years. With the unique challenges and unpredictability caused by the coronavirus pandemic, many people were forced to neglect or ignore their savings and financial planning. That’s certainly understandable. But as the economy improves, new workers and those approaching retirement can take advantage of smart ways to plan and save in a way that they may not have been able to a year ago. The following tips from CFP Board, a nonprofit organization dedicated to benefiting the public by supporting professional standards in personal financial planning, may give you some ideas on how best to plan for your retirement:
- Go high-tech, with caution. “Keeping track of your personal finances is time-consuming and not what you want to do in your retirement years,” says CFP Board Ambassador Bill Schretter, CFP®.
“I recommend all my clients automate as much of the saving and reporting functions as possible. However, I do not recommend that you use free service apps,” he emphasizes. Why? Many free service apps will use your information to try to sell you financial and non-financial products that you don’t need and could siphon away from your retirement savings.” I recommend that you purchase your own program or use programs that your advisor or bank provide to help you keep your finances organized,” says Schretter. “Let an app automate regular tasks, but leave the most important financial advice and management to qualified human beings,” he adds. A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional can provide guidance as you consider these points in retirement planning, whatever your current work status or age:
- Review your goals. Does your retirement wish list include a cruise to Alaska, an African safari, or your own house on a secluded lake in the woods? Do you want to open a small business, or help out your children and grandchildren with education costs? Consider potential expenses now to plan savvy withdrawals later.
- Watch for tax traps. “If your withdrawal plan puts you into a higher tax bracket, you might want to lower the amount you plan to pull out,” says CFP Board Ambassador J.J. Burns, CFP®.
Also, diversify with a range of accounts that are taxed differently for more flexibility. If you don’t have a Roth IRA or 401k, it is never too early or too late to start one, and a certified financial planner can give advice on moving some retirement savings into one of these accounts to maximize future income.
Visit LetsMakeAPlan.org for more advice and tips to make the most of your income in retirement.