Top Five Retirement Planning New Year’s Resolutions for 2014

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Leading Experts at Pentegra Retirement Services Offer Advice

Pentegra Retirement Services

“Just like New Year’s resolutions to commit to exercise or diet, people must consider their own financial health...."

As a New Year’s Resolution, Pentegra Retirement Services is encouraging people to take a few minutes this month to think about the state of their retirement portfolio and commit to an annual self-assessment.    

According to Rich Rausser, Senior Vice President of Client Services at Pentegra, “Just like New Year’s resolutions to commit to exercise or diet, people must consider their own financial health. This is not only about ‘I will do a budget this year’ or ‘I will spend less’ but rather a focus on your retirement goals, and making those goals a successful reality. Resolving to pay more attention to your future is one of the best gifts you can give yourself this holiday season.”

Rausser offers these top five New Year’s resolutions that can set people on the right track in 2014:
1.    If you are not taking advantage of your employer’s 401(k) plan, do it now. “If you are not deferring a portion of your salary to your employer’s 401(k) plan, you absolutely need to start now. The tax savings alone offered by a 401(k) plan is something you cannot pass up. Any matching contribution is essentially free money—something your employer is happy to give you. And, it is incumbent upon you and your retirement to take it,” says Rausser.

2.    If you are not getting the maximum matching funds from your employer, do so. “Don’t leave free money on the table—if your employer makes matching contributions, make sure you contribute enough to take full advantage of matching funds,” explains Rausser.

3.    Make a commitment to increase your savings rate by one to two percent of salary every year. “Most of us receive salary increases at the end of the calendar year; that is the perfect time to take some of that increase and put it directly into your retirement savings plan. Take steps to automatically increase your savings rate annually by at least 1 to 2% and the savings really add up. Do it before you see the salary increase and you won’t even miss it,” encourages Rausser.

4.    Recognize that your retirement savings investment strategy is just as important as your savings strategy. “The types of investments you choose and your asset allocation play a key role in determining your eventual nest egg. Use online planning tools that are part of your plan’s education tools, and enlist the help of financial professional,” Rausser explains.

5.    Be realistic in terms of what you’ll need to save, and take advantage of financial planning tools to help guide you. “The average American spends 20 years in retirement. Be realistic—you will need between 70 to 80 percent of your preretirement income to maintain your standard of living when you stop working. The key to achieving financial security is to plan ahead, and planning begins with a realistic goal,” emphasizes Rausser.

Pentegra Retirement Services is a leading provider of retirement plan solutions to organizations nationwide. Founded by the Federal Home Loan Bank System in 1943, Pentegra offers a full range of retirement programs, including 401(k) plans, Defined Benefit Pension plans, Cash Balance plans, 412(e)(3) Fully Insured Defined Benefit plans, Split Funded Defined Benefit plans, KSOPs, ESOPs, Profit Sharing plans, Age-Weighted plans, New Comparability plans, 457(b) and 457(f) plans, 403(b) plans, 401(a) plans, Section 79 plans, Non-qualified Executive Benefit and Director plans, benefits financing solutions using BOLI and a broad array of TPA services. For more information, go to

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Rodi Rosensweig
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