Retirement Planning Resources

Retirement Planning Resources

Our Retirement Planning Resources can help you make informed decisions about your financial security and future.

How to Plan for Retirement?

Regardless of where you are in life, understanding how to make a retirement plan is essential. Focusing on your retirement planning options and strategy now, even if retirement is decades into the future, can help ensure you have enough saved to live comfortably during your golden years. Here are some of the benefits of planning for retirement early:

  • More time for your money to grow: When you start saving for retirement early, your money has more time to grow through compound interest. Your savings can grow exponentially, helping you reach your retirement goals faster.
  • More flexibility: Starting early gives you more flexibility in your retirement planning. You can save less money each month and still reach your goals, or you can save more money each month and retire earlier.
  • Less stress: Planning for retirement early can help reduce stress in the future. Knowing that you have a retirement plan can help give you peace of mind and allow you to enjoy your retirement years to the fullest.

If you are unsure where to start with retirement planning, speaking with a financial advisor is a good idea. A financial advisor can help you develop a retirement savings plan and choose investment options that are appropriate for your needs.

No matter where you are in life, it is never too early to start retirement planning. By taking the time to make a retirement plan now, you can ensure that you have a comfortable and secure future.

Learn the basics of when to retire, plans to help prepare you, retirement goals, and expenses to consider.

How Much Do I Need to Retire?

The uncertainty of not knowing how much you need for retirement can be stressful and overwhelming. The worries can pile up:

  • What if I live longer than my savings can stretch?
  • What if I face sudden, large healthcare bills?
  • What if I don't have enough to cover my basic living expenses?
  • What if I have to rely on my children or other family members for financial support?

These risks and concerns are valid, and it's understandable why so many people feel anxious about retirement. However, it's important to remember that you can take steps to reduce this uncertainty and improve your chances of a comfortable retirement.

Learn how much retirement money you’ll need to retire at your desired age.

How to Save for Retirement?

Understanding and practicing prudent savings strategies is crucial for ensuring a comfortable lifestyle during your retirement years. The amounts you need to save and the approaches you should take largely depend on your income and how much you expect to need in retirement. Here are some savings strategies to consider:

  • Start saving early: The earlier you start saving for retirement, the more time your money has to grow. Even if you can only save a small amount each month, it will add up over time.
  • Set realistic goals: Before you start saving, you must set realistic goals for your retirement. How much money do you expect to need each month in retirement? How long do you expect to live in retirement? Once you understand your needs well, you can set savings goals to help you achieve them.
  • Create a budget: Creating a budget can help you track your income and expenses and identify areas where you can cut back on spending. This will free up more money that you can save for retirement.
  • Automate your savings: One of the best ways to save for retirement is to automate your savings. This means setting up a recurring monthly transfer from your checking account to your retirement account.

A clear plan to save for retirement is crucial and may involve sources such as Social Security, Medicare, pension benefits, and retirement savings.

Use the retirement calculator to evaluate if your current retirement planning is on track to meet your retirement income goals or if you need to increase savings.

Learn how to start saving for retirement, which retirement accounts may be right for you, and the benefits of starting early.

IRA Basics

Individual retirement accounts (IRAs) offer several potential benefits that can help you save for retirement, diversify your retirement portfolio and assets, manage your tax situation, and even plan for wealth transfer.

  • Saving for retirement: IRAs are one of the most popular ways to save for retirement because they offer several advantages over other savings options.
  • Diversifying your retirement portfolio and assets: IRAs offer a wide range of investment options, so you can diversify your retirement portfolio and assets to reduce risk.
  • Managing your tax situation: IRAs can help you manage your tax situation in retirement. For instance, withdrawing money from a traditional IRA before age 59½ may incur a 10% early withdrawal penalty tax. Exceptions may apply for reasons such as paying for qualified education or unreimbursed medical expenses.
  • Planning for wealth transfer: IRAs can also be used to plan for wealth transfer. You can name a beneficiary for your IRA, and the beneficiary will receive the money in your IRA after you die.

If you are considering saving for retirement, be sure to consider the benefits of IRAs.

Learn more about how IRAs could benefit your retirement planning.

401(k) Basics

A 401(k) is a savings plan many employers in the United States offer. It is a tax-advantaged way to invest for the long term. 401(k) plans offer several other benefits as well:

  • Employer Match: Many employers offer matching contributions, which means they will contribute a certain amount of money to your 401(k) plan for every dollar you contribute, up to a specific limit. This is essentially free money that can help you save even more for retirement.
  • Investment options: 401(k) plans offer various investment options to diversify your retirement portfolio and reduce risk. You can invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, and other investment products.
  • Portability: Another benefit of 401(k) plans is that they are portable, meaning you can take them with you if you change jobs. This makes it easy to continue saving for retirement even if you make a career change.

If you are eligible to contribute to a 401(k) plan, take advantage of this opportunity.

Use the 401(k) calculator to estimate how your current 401(k) savings could grow between now and retirement.

Learn more about how a 401(k) can help you along your retirement journey.

Annuity Basics

Annuities are products that can provide you with a guaranteed income stream in retirement. They have unique features that can help you accomplish what other investment vehicles can't accommodate.

  • Lifetime income guarantees: One of the most unique features of annuities is that they can provide you with a guaranteed income stream for life. This can be a valuable benefit, especially if you are concerned about outliving your savings.
  • Additional tax deferrals: Annuities can also offer additional tax deferrals. With a traditional annuity, your contributions and earnings grow tax-deferred until you withdraw the money in retirement. With a Roth IRA, you pay taxes on your contributions now, but your earnings grow tax-free.

Other unique features: Annuities also offer several other unique features, such as:

  • Death benefits: Annuities can provide death benefits to your beneficiaries if you die before withdrawing all the money in your annuity.
  • Riders: Annuities can be customized with riders that add additional features, such as long-term care insurance or guaranteed income for a specific period of time.
  • Flexibility: Annuities offer various withdrawal options, so you can choose the option that best meets your needs.

If you're unsure if an annuity is right for you, it could help to talk to a financial advisor. They can determine your needs and help you pick the right annuity.

Learn about what annuities are, the different types of annuities, and how they fit into your retirement plan.

Estate Planning 101

Proper estate planning for retirement is essential to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you die. Here are some of the benefits of estate planning for retirement:

  • Avoid unnecessary taxes: Estate planning can help you minimize or eliminate estate taxes. Estate taxes are levied on the value of your estate after you die. Transferring your assets to a trust or other estate planning vehicle can reduce or eliminate the estate taxes your heirs must pay.
  • Appoint trusted individuals to manage your estate: Estate planning allows you to appoint trusted individuals to manage your estate after you die. This can include naming an executor, who will carry out your wishes as expressed in your will, and a trustee, who will manage any trusts you establish.
  • Distribute your assets as intended: Estate planning allows you to distribute your assets to your heirs according to your wishes. This is especially important if you have complex family dynamics or want to leave certain assets to specific charities or organizations.

If you are approaching retirement, it is important to consider estate planning. By planning your estate, you can help ensure that your wishes are respected after you die and that your loved ones are cared for.

Learn more about estate planning, creating a will, establishing trusts, designating beneficiaries, and preparing for potential estate taxes.

Retirement Income Planning

As you get closer to retiring, planning how you'll turn your savings into income is an important step. You'll likely want to consider all your potential income sources to begin to build your retirement paycheck. Here are some common income sources to consider:

  • Social Security: Social Security is a federal program that provides retirement benefits to Americans who have worked and paid Social Security taxes. You can start receiving Social Security benefits as early as age 62, but your benefits will be reduced if you start receiving them before age 67.
  • Medicare: Medicare is a federal health insurance program for Americans 65 and older and people with specific disabilities. Medicare covers many medical services, including hospital stays, doctor visits, and prescription drugs.
  • Employer-sponsored retirement plans: Many employers offer retirement plans, such as 401(k)s and 403(b)s. These plans allow you to save money from your paycheck on a pre-tax basis, which can help you save more for retirement.
  • Individual retirement accounts (IRAs): IRAs are another way to save for retirement. You can contribute to an IRA even if you don't have an employer-sponsored retirement plan.
  • Annuities: Annuities are insurance products that can provide you with a guaranteed income stream in retirement. Various annuities are available, so you can choose one that meets your needs.
  • Investments: You can also invest your savings in various assets, such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Investing can help your savings grow over time, but there is also the risk of losing money.

When planning your retirement income, it is important to consider all of your potential income sources. This will help you ensure you have enough money to retire comfortably.

Use the retirement savings withdrawal, retirement cost of living, and how long will retirement savings last calculators to assess if your savings will cover retirement spending.

Learn how to make your retirement account money last to live the lifestyle you’ll enjoy.

Living in Retirement

As you transition towards retirement age, one of the primary considerations is determining where and how you should live. This decision involves evaluating several factors. Here are a few of the bigger ones:

  • Cost of living: The cost of living varies widely from state to state and city to city. When choosing a place to live in retirement, it is important to consider your budget and ensure you can afford to live comfortably.
  • Proximity: Many retirees choose to live near family and friends to stay connected with their loved ones and establish a support system. It is crucial to consider your own needs and preferences in this decision.
  • Healthcare Availability: Access to quality healthcare is important for everyone, but especially for retirees.

Your retirement should be a time of relaxation and enjoyment; deciding where and how to live is integral to achieving this goal. This decision will most likely involve compromise. So don't rush; take the time to assess your options and make a choice that best suits your vision of retirement.

Here are ideas to help guide you.

Aging & Senior Care

While no one can predict future long-term care needs, you could still take steps to help prepare for an uncertain tomorrow. Here are a few tips:

  • Educate yourself about long-term care. What is it? What services does it cover? How expensive is it? The more you know, the better prepared you'll be to make decisions about your care.
  • Consider your long-term care options. Many types of long-term care include home care, assisted living, and nursing homes. Think about your preferences and what you can afford.
  • Talk to your family and friends about your wishes. Let them know what type of care you want and who you want to decide if you become incapacitated.
  • Explore ways to pay for long-term care. Long-term care can be very expensive, so it's essential to have a plan. You may want to consider purchasing long-term care insurance, using your retirement savings, or relying on government assistance.

Learn how your age and health play into your retirement plans and what you can do to prepare for healthcare costs in retirement.


Preparing for retirement is essential to ensuring a comfortable and secure financial future. You can achieve your retirement dreams by starting early, setting realistic financial goals now, and choosing the right strategy.

If you haven't started planning for retirement, now is the time to start. Explore our retirement planning tools and resources to help you get started. Don't wait until it's too late - start planning for your retirement today!

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Information provided is general and educational in nature, and all products or services discussed may not be provided by Western & Southern Financial Group or its member companies (“the Company”). The information is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal or tax advice. The Company does not provide legal or tax advice. Laws of a specific state or laws relevant to a particular situation may affect the applicability, accuracy, or completeness of this information. Federal and state laws and regulations are complex and are subject to change. The Company makes no warranties with regard to the information or results obtained by its use. The Company disclaims any liability arising out of your use of, or reliance on, the information. Consult an attorney or tax advisor regarding your specific legal or tax situation.