While searching for birthday cards recently, I came across a funny one that read, “My favorite childhood memory was not having bills.” It made me chuckle. Being a grown up is a lot harder than you think as a kid. It involves making mature decisions, planning for the future, and, yes, paying bills.
Part of planning for the future is thinking ahead to retirement. It’s not as far off as you may think. And, if you’re not taking advantage of your company’s retirement benefits, you could be losing out on money because many companies offer a percentage match, depending on the type of plan. While researching for a story, I learned the most common type of retirement plan is the 401(k), according to the Department of Labor. The 401(k) allows employees to defer a portion of their salaries, and earnings are not taxed until the employee takes a distribution. The employee also controls how their money is invested. The plan is flexible for both the employer and the employee. Most plans offer a spread of mutual funds composed of stocks, bonds, and investments the employee can pick and choose from. Read about the other types of retirement options employers can offer here.
After learning about all the different plans, I decided to take a look at my own retirement savings and the current plan I was enrolled in — spoiler alert, it’s a 401(k). Planning for the future may seem tedious, but it’s important. So, be a grown up, and set aside some time to look at your retirement options. Your future self will thank you.