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Planning for many things in life makes outcomes so much easier. But so many things we plan for happen sooner than later, and they seem so easy to prepare for. Because retirement happens in our later years, it can be confusing to know what you must do to plan for it. This article is here to help.

Determine what your needs and expenses will be in retirement. Studies have shown that most people need around 75% of the income they were receiving before retirement. Lower income workers will need around 90%.

Set reasonable goals for retirement. Reaching too high in the sky can lead to disappointment if you do not have the resources to hit them in the first place. Set very conservative goals and increase them gradually as you hit them year by year. This will also prevent you from making rash decisions as you save.

Refrain from taking early withdrawals from your retirement account. These withdrawals will have substantial penalties, and will take away from the money that you have set aside. Typically, you will be charged a fee of 10% on top of the federal and state taxes that you will pay, reducing your amount by almost half.

If your company offers you a 401K plan, contribute as much as you can to it, up to its maximum. This is a great way to save for your retirement. All you need to to do is to contact your HR department, and funds will be deducted from your paycheck automatically each month and deposited into your 401K account.

Start saving for retirement as early as you are able. The earlier you start saving, the better. Every little bit helps. The longer you have that money in a savings account, the more it can grow. How much you have saved will make a huge difference when you actually do retire.

Make realistic plans and set realistic goals for your retirement. Don’t set your sights unrealistically high, and be honest about how much you are going to need to maintain your standard of living. Sit down and plan a budget for yourself. Based on that, determine how much you will need before you can retire.

Think about a long-term health plan. Lots of folks start to see a decline in their health as they get older. In some cases, this decline necessitates extra healthcare which can be costly. Long term health plans help alleviate the strain of increase costs.

Look into the pension plans offered by your company. If your employer offers a traditional pension plan, find out how it works. If you will be changing jobs at any point, learn what you need to know about rolling the money over to a new company. Figure out the types of benefits that would be coming to you. Also, you may be eligible to get benefits through your spouse’s retirement plan.

Do the math and figure out how much money you need to live. If you ever hope to live without working, then you’ll need to have that money saved ahead of time in your retirement plan. Figure out how much it costs you to live comfortably and this will give you some form of saving goal.

Make sure that you look into your employer’s retirement savings plan. Do some research, and figure out what sort of plans are available to you. Determine what sort of benefits there are for using the savings plan. Contribute what you can to it, and start saving for retirement as early as possible.

Take retirement seriously. Make sure you ask questions of the people that know what they are talking about. That might mean consulting with a financial adviser or sitting down with someone at your company to talk about what they offer. Keep meeting and talking until you have a handle on what you need to do to secure your future.

Don’t think that Social Security benefits will cover the cost of living. Social Security will only pay you a portion of what you will need to live when you retire; the number is around 40 percent of what you make right now. A lot of people require 70 to 90 percent of what they make before they retire to get by after they are retired.

Do not let saving for retirement fall to the back-burner. If you save consistently throughout your working career, you should not have a problem in the future. Remember, though, that the later you start saving, the more money you need to put away each month. That is why it is important to save whatever you can each month, even if it is early in your career and you are not making much.

Avoid depending solely on Social Security to fund your retirement. It can help you financially, but many cannot live of it nowadays. Social Security only gives about 40 percent of the earnings you’ve made.

Try living a little bit beneath your means as you approach retirement, to put yourself in better financial shape. This will enable you to save more money, and get you into some very beneficial habits early on. By the time you do retire, you’ll be an old hat at frugality!

You know you must plan for retirement so that you will be comfortable in your senior years. You should get started right away on planning, and you should use the info given here to make it easier on yourself. If you need to know more, use the Internet. Good luck!