Far from retirement – 10 or more years away

Start saving and investing now for a secure and rewarding retirement.

Choose and organize your accounts

Exploring your retirement account options and organizing your finances is a good place to begin.

Take action

  • Inform a beneficiary of legal or financial records, PIN numbers, passwords and other information.
  • Throw out old paper statements or bills. Shred the discarded documents to keep them out of the hands of identity thieves.
  • Identify all your accounts by looking through the statements you receive, both on paper and online.
  • Register for online accounts and automate transactions whenever you can.

Maximize your savings

Time is on your side — and key savings and contribution strategies can help you take advantage of it.

Take action

  • Contribute as much as you can, as often as possible.
  • When you get a pay raise, consider increasing the contribution to your accounts before you get used to the extra money.
  • Set up automatic contributions to your retirement plans.
  • Take advantage of employer matches if given the opportunity.
  • Make sure you have at least a three to six month cash reserve.
  • Track your expenses for one or two months to determine what your daily and monthly expenses are — then figure out where you can save more.

Manage your investments

As you build your portfolio, you'll need to understand the basics and make adjustments as needed.

Take action

  • Assess your risk tolerance and asset allocation.
  • If you are tempted to pull out of the market, first consider your investment time horizon.
  • Make sure your investments are diversified, especially if your employer plan includes company stock.
  • Contact your financial advisor to review your investment plan.
  • Consider opening an IRA for additional savings.

Define your expectations

Start thinking about your retirement goals and expectations, including when you hope to retire.

Take action

  • Write down your goals for retirement to give you an idea of the lifestyle you're saving for.
  • Discuss how you might handle unexpected events with your family and financial advisor.
  • Think about when you might like to retire and check in with your financial advisor to discuss your retirement plans.

Retirement income and expenses

Your savings today will form at least a portion of your income in retirement.

Learn retirement basics

Take action

  • Understand how you'll receive income in retirement so you can plan your savings and investments accordingly.

Important Upcoming Dates

January – December 2017

  • 2016 required minimum distribution deadline for individuals born July 1, 1945 to June 30, 1946 (if initial RMD was not satisfied by 12/31/16)
  • Individual 2016 tax returns and tax payments are due
  • Deadline for funding a traditional or Roth IRA for 2016
  • Extended 2016 tax filing deadline for individuals who filed for an extension on form 4868 (application for automatic extension of time to file U.S. individual income tax return).Deadline for sole proprietors that filed for a six-month extension to establish and contribute to a SEP IRA for 2016
  • Deadline to recharacterize an IRA contribution or conversion from 2016
  • Deadline to take required minimum distributions (RMDs) for 2017 for individuals born June, 30 1946 or earlier.

  • Deadline for conversions to Roth IRA for 2017

  • Deadline for selling non-qualified securities to realize gain or loss in 2017, if appropriate.

  • Charitable giving deadline for 2017 federal income tax deduction.

Note: Taxpayers may need to start the process by mid-December to meet the December 31 deadline.