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

  • Consider informing 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 consider automating 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

  • Consider contributing 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.
  • Consider setting 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 2018

  • 2017 required minimum distribution deadline for individuals who turned age 70 ½ during 2017 (born after June 30, 1946 and before July 1, 1947). Note: the April 1 deadline only applies to the first RMD after turning 70 ½. The deadline for subsequent years is Dec. 31.
  • Individual 2017 tax returns and tax payments are due.
  • Deadline for funding a traditional or Roth IRA for 2017.
  • Extended 2017 tax filing deadline for individuals who filed for an extension on Form 4868 (Application for Automatic Extension of Time To Tile 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 2017.
  • Deadline to recharacterize an IRA contribution or conversion from 2017.
  • Deadline to take required minimum distributions (RMDs) for 2018 tax year, applies to individuals born June 30, 1947 or earlier.

  • Deadline to convert a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA for the 2018 tax year.

  • Deadline to sell non-qualified securities to realize a gain or loss for the 2018 tax year, if appropriate.

  • Deadline to make charitable gifts for tax year 2018 federal income tax deductions.

Note: Taxpayers should begin the process by mid-December to meet the Dec. 31 deadline.

*IRS deadline for the individual tax return filing, IRA and Coverdell contributions and estimated tax payments are delayed to the next business day if they fall on a weekend or legal holiday. Monday, April 16, 2018 is Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in the District of Columbia.