Employer Retirement Plans & IRAs - A Better Shot at a Comfortable Retirement

The overriding savings objective for most of our members is accumulating retirement assets. There are only a few ways to get money into retirement plans and it is important to start as early as you can.

Employer Contributions

If your employer offers a retirement plan like a 457(b) or 401(k), try to maximize your contributions to the plan. A ten percent contribution rate may be sufficient if you start early – but fifteen percent will give you a better shot at a comfortable retirement. Exactly how much you should contribute depends on many factors. Many plan sponsors offer automatic contribution increases which will automatically raise your contribution rate by 1% each year. This is a good way to get your personal saving rate up.

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)

After you have maximized your employer sponsored plan, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are another option. There are two kinds of IRAs and which is right for you depends on things like your age, tax-rate, and income.

1. Regardless of which IRA you choose, contributions for 2010 can be made up to the date you file your 2010 returns – which for most folks is April 15, 2011. IRA accounts are designed to fund retirement. Withdrawing funds prior to age 59½ may result in an early withdrawal penalty.

Assistance Awaits You

Your tax professional can help you select which IRA is appropriate for you. Once you know which type to establish we can help you with everything from insured certificates of deposit to stocks, bonds, investment trusts and funds. Contact the CFS* Financial Advisor, Stephen Seewer at SF Fire Credit Union, to discuss your retirement planning needs. He is available for no-cost, no-obligation consultations and can help determine if you are on track to hitting your savings goals. Contact him today at (415) 674-4846 or sseewer@sffirecu.org.

*Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (CFS), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA / SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. SF Fire Credit Union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members.