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Give yourself the gift of a solid retirement strategy

As you begin to create your gift-giving lists this holiday season, consider adding a gift just for you.

Planning for retirement is an on-going process— one that continues to change and evolve over time. However, this holiday season you can prepare yourself for the gift of retirement by following these simple steps.

1. Calculate what you will need to retire.

One of the most important steps when preparing for retirement is calculating how much will be needed in order to retire.

Discover how much you need to retire well with our retirement savings calculator.

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2. Weigh your options for your retirement income.

Once you have calculated how much you should be investing, the next step in your retirement preparation should be choosing a retirement plan that best suits your retirement goals and needs.

      • IRA (Individual Retirement Account): A tax-advantaged investing tool that individuals use to earmark funds for retirement
      • 401(k): Employer-sponsored retirement account
      • SEP IRA (Simplified Employee Pension): For self-employed individuals or small business owners
      • SIMPLE IRA (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees): For employers with less than 100 employees
      • 403(b): Employer-sponsored retirement account offered by public schools, certain tax-exempt organizations, non-profits, and hospitals
      • 457: Employer-sponsored retirement accounts offered by state or local governments and certain non-governmental employers

And next, how that money goes in and out of the account:

  • Traditional: Contributions are made before tax but withdraws in the future are subject to ordinary income taxes.
  • Roth: You make contributions after tax, and then future withdrawals are tax-free on the conditions the account is held for at least five years and you are age 59 ½ or older.

3. Prioritize your financial goals

It is never too early to begin preparing for retirement.

When you are creating a budget, you should always consider your retirement savings. Tracking your spending allows you to visualize your expenses, whether this means laying out how much you are spending on your morning coffee or reducing the amount of monthly subscription charges you have but may not be using.

4. Expect the unexpected

Life can be filled with unanticipated events. When creating a financial plan, prepare yourself for an unexpected cost by setting aside an emergency fund.

This fund will help to avoid taking money away from your retirement funds during an emergency.


Planning for retirement doesn’t need to be complex. This holiday season, gift yourself with tools that help to alleviate the stress of your retirement plans.

If you’re feeling unsure, consult with a financial professional. They are there to help you work through your goals and plans while establishing helpful money habits and set you on the path to financial freedom.

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    Securities offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory Services offered through Cetera Investment Advisers LLC, a registered investment adviser. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity.