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Because of inflation, nearly everything you buy in the future will cost more than it does today. You can stay ahead of rising prices by choosing investments with the potential to outperform the annual inflation rate.Longer life spans
As Americans continue living longer and retiring earlier, it's possible you could be retired for more years than you worked. Without the long-term return potential of investments, you increase the risk of outliving your money when you need it most.More active retirement lifestyles
Thanks to medical advances and healthier lifestyles, many retirees lead active lives that include travel, second homes and expensive hobbies. The challenge is saving enough money now to enjoy your after-work years to the fullest.Growing concerns about Social Security
Social Security currently covers only a fraction of most retirees' expenses, and the system's financial uncertainty makes it doubtful that benefits will rise much in the future.Declining pension coverage
Unlike past generations, most Americans today can no longer depend on guaranteed, employer-funded pensions. Instead, companies are shifting responsibility to their workers by sponsoring 401(k)s and other retirement plans funded mostly with employee contributions.
The sooner you start and the more frequently you invest, the bigger your retirement accounts are likely to be.
Arrange to have money automatically invested from your paycheck and bank accounts to systematically save before you're tempted to spend.
Employer-sponsored retirement plans and IRAs grow on a tax-deferred basis. That means investment earnings aren't normally taxed until withdrawn, usually when you're retired and in a lower tax bracket.
Contributions reduce your current taxable income and grow tax-deferred for the future, along with any employer matching funds.
Investing raises, bonuses, tax refunds and other windfalls helps build your accounts without disrupting your normal budget.
Maintain tax deferrals when changing jobs or retiring by directly rolling over company plan assets to an IRA.
A qualified professional can assist you with setting retirement goals and developing a plan to achieve them.
Offer tax-deferred growth and the potential for tax-deductible contributions
Combine tax-deferred growth with tax-free withdrawals
Allow retirees and job changers to transfer company retirement money to either a Traditional or Roth IRA
For more specific information, you can visit www.irs.gov, and refer to Publication 590 - Individual Retirement Arrangements. Consult your advisor for helpful tips on building an investment portfolio, or simply go to the "Build your portfolio" section, to determine your retirement needs and other financial goals.
The information above is not intended to provide and should not be relied on for accounting, legal and tax advice or investment recommendations. The views and strategies described may not be suitable to all readers. Please contact your financial professional or tax advisor for additional information.