Retirement Readiness Checklist for Savers

October 21, 2013 Editorial Staff
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(StatePoint) Today, four out of five Americans are optimistic about their financial future, and of those who own retirement products, 97 percent agree that it feels good to know they are saving, according to a recent Lincoln Financial Group M.O.O.D. of America Study.

“One of the easiest ways people have to save for retirement is through their employer-sponsored retirement plan, like a 401(k) or 403(b) plan,” says Chuck Cornelio, president of Retirement Plan Services for Lincoln Financial Group.

“It is critical that people receive the motivation and support they need to help them get on track and stay on track with their retirement savings goals.”

Here are some simple ways to help you with retirement readiness:

• Sign up for a savings plan at work: If you’re not enrolled in your plan, enroll today. Participation in an employer-sponsored retirement plan can help reduce your taxable income while building your savings. Contact your benefits administrator or human resources department with questions on how to get started. Enrollment can be the first step toward considering your own retirement savings goals and setting yourself up for a greater chance at success.

• Resist the temptation to borrow: We all know that things come up and that in the middle of an unexpected event, you may be tempted to borrow against your retirement plan savings. This is especially true during a down market. Resist the temptation. When you borrow against your plan, you may miss out on potential market gains.

• Save more as you make more: There are probably times in your life when you may receive extra cash from a tax refund, a bonus, a salary increase or some other pleasant surprise. Consider increasing your contribution every year if it’s possible and saving any extras.

When you hit the maximum contribution level in your plan, a financial professional can help you find the right place to put additional savings.

• Save at least up to the company match: Many employers will match your contributions up to a certain percentage. Take advantage of these offers. Talk with your benefits administrator to learn more about what’s available in your plan. When you don’t take full advantage of a company match, you’re leaving money on the table.

• Review investments with a financial professional: Schedule a retirement plan check-up at least once a year to assess where you stand against your personal retirement savings goals. It can help you stay on track and identify any changes that need to be made in order to achieve your savings goals.

“When it comes to saving for your retirement, don’t hesitate,” says Cornelio. “The sooner you start saving your money in an employer-sponsored plan or other retirement account, the better.”

For more tips and retirement resources, visit

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