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Save Now or Struggle Later

By Shelby Klose

It is never too early to start saving for retirement. And in today's financial situation, with the Social Security base becoming smaller and smaller, you must save a large amount of your own money. This is an intimidating process but with the right tips you can retire comfortably.

One of the best ways to build a strong retirement fund is to start with your first job.  This is when there is a large change of income and usually fewer day-to-day expenses. We can offer  several helpful tips to ensure a secure retirement (Fox Business, March 6):

Set Goals

Decide at the beginning what kind of retirement lifestyle you want and how much it will cost. This can be decided with an online retirement calculator such as the one at cgi.money.cnn.com. This site will ask many questions that will help you set the right goal.

Participate in your employer's retirement plans

These plans involve portions of your paycheck automatically being put in savings. This money is not taxed and will keep you consistent with your savings. Some employers offer 401(k) plans in which employers will match the amount of money you put in. This is a great source of free money that will benefit your retirement greatly.

Choose the right investments

There are many different places to keep your saved money. If you are retiring in just a few years, a savings account at your local credit union is a good, safe place to keep your money. But if you have a ways to go it is useful to invest funds in stocks, bonds, or even real estate. Contact your local credit union for more information on these options.

Invest in Annuities and Whole Life Insurance

An annuity is a stream of equal payments you receive over a period of time, such as after retirement.  You invest money for these payments when you are still working and they gain more interest than a savings account.  Whole Life Insurance is a process in which you pay equal payments for a period of time and that money will be available as insurance upon death or as a source of money with interest if withdrawn previously. Both are riskier investments that really help increase the money you save for retirement.    

All of these tips are ways to improve you after-retirement lifestyle. Early planning is essential for savings of all kinds and the more you know about savings opportunities, the better off you will be. That way your retirement future will include financial security and prosperity.

Published: 4-10-2012.

 

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