Planning for retirement often means saving for it, and Joe Udo, in a recent piece at usnews.com, has some valuable tips. Among them:
“Increase 401(k) contributions. For 2014, the 401(k) contribution limit remains $17,500 for people under 50. According to a Vanguard study, only 11 percent of 401(k) participants contribute up to the limit. If you are among the majority of 401(k) participants, then there is an easy way for you to save more for retirement. The economy continues to improve, and hopefully you’ll get a raise this year. Once you receive notice of a pay increase, you can log on to your 401(k) plan and split this increase with your retirement account. This way you won’t see a decrease in your take home pay. The raise will be a little smaller than you expected, but you will have met your goal of saving more for retirement.
“It will be more difficult to save more if you don’t see any raises this year. In that case, it’s probably time to figure out a way to generate additional income through more education, a job change or even a side job.
“Contribute to a Roth IRA. If you already maxed out your 401(k) contribution, then consider saving more in a Roth IRA. A Roth IRA isn’t tax deductible, but you generally won’t have to pay tax on the gain when you withdraw the money in retirement. For 2014, the Roth IRA contribution limit is $5,500 for people under age 50. The Roth IRA is easily my favorite retirement account, especially after a great year in the stock market. You can buy and sell stocks without having to worry about capital gains taxes, assuming you don’t plan to withdraw the money before retirement.”