The Right Ingredients for Your Retirement Savings Strategy

The right ingredientsJust as you work on planning a menu for your summer cook-outs, you need to gather the right ingredients to reach your retirement goals. The following moves can help.

Prepare your menu. You may have set a general retirement goal in the past, but now that you’re closer to retirement you can do a better job of estimating your income and expenses, and assessing any gap you need to fill. Consider the cost of housing, food, taxes, insurance, health care, transportation, travel, and other expenses you expect to have after you retire. The 10 Question Retiree Guide can help you refine your plans (

Gather your ingredients. The key ingredients for a successful retirement include your tax-advantaged savings options (your 457 plan and IRA) and any pension or Social Security benefits. You can boost your 457 plan and IRA contributions after you turn age 50, and assess how signing up for Social Security at different ages can affect your benefits (go to

Watch the grill. Check the status of your savings to make sure you’re on track to reach your goals. As a chef may need to increase the heat or add more spices during cooking, you may need to boost your savings, extend your time frame, or adjust your goals if you’re not on track. The Retirement Income Planner ( can help you estimate how much money you can withdraw each year under various assumptions.

Save room for dessert. If you’re on track to reach your retirement goals, think about some special things you’d like to do, such as traveling, building a cabin on a lake, helping grandchildren with college, or supporting a charity. Factor those costs into your plans, too.


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