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How to Make a Retirement Action Plan

Retirement planning is an essential part of your financial life. Every year is a chance to build up savings to ensure your future. Whether you want to travel, save for your children or make that move to Florida, it all requires some forethought. To accomplish your goals, create a retirement action plan.

Follow ACCC's advice to create a retirement action plan.

Follow ACCC’s advice to create a retirement action plan.

Retirement Action Plan Strategies & Tips

Fortunately, retirement savings can be accomplished over time for most people. Even if you get started a little late in life, there is always time to make a good use of your saving, spending and investing. Retirement and financial experts typically agree that Americans should be saving about 15% of income towards retirement. Let’s see how we can reach this level of savings as well as other guidelines, strategies and tips. Remember, each person’s finances are unique- these are general suggestions to consider when making a retirement action plan.

Retirement infographic

  • Aggressively eliminate debt before investing too much in retirement.
  • Create an emergency fund with enough cash to cover 3-6 months before investing too much in retirement.
  • Contribute to your employer’s 401(k) plan at least so you get the max employer contribution. Free money!
  • Answer these retirement questions to help you calculate your financial needs:
    • Lifestyle- comfy and casual or globetrotting?
    • Inheritance for the kids?
    • Any expected costly medical needs?
    • Have you started investing yet?
    • When do you want to retire?
  • Start investing a certain percentage each year. Try increasing it every year until you reach the 15%.
  • Don’t remove money from your retirement funds.
  • Be careful of using money for other things, like paying for your kids college education. Compound interest works especially hard the longer you invest. Don’t wait or get too side tracked.
  • Look into opening IRA’s for you and your spouse.
  • Change your investment risk throughout the years- more risky and aggressive while young to very safe and stable near retirement.
  • Check in with a professional to ensure you are on track.

Calculating the Retirement Action Plan

Now that you have a sense of your goals, it’s time to calculate how much money you will need to save for your retirement. Using this retirement calculator, you can gain a general sense of how easy or difficult your goal will be. Some factors the calculator considers are your age, desired annual income during retirement, and when you plan on retiring. Run a few scenarios to see how the outcomes changes. Were you able to retire when you thought? Use your calculations and these other tips to start creating your retirement action plan.

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today. 


Michelle is a regular contributor to Talking Cents. She has taken several financial courses on debt management and is ready to circulate what she has learned from them as well as lessons from her own life- family to DIY projects to student loan debt.

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