Financial Basics

Getting Organized

Take Control

Build Your Credit

Banking Basics

Taking the Next Steps

Determine Financial Goals

Creating a Budget

Building Your Career

Borrowing Basics

Investing for Your Future

Investing 101

Saving Strategies

Choose the Right Investment

Investing Online


Increase Your Earning Power

Tuning Your Career

Negotiating for Success

Changing Careers

Going Back to School

Starting Your Own Business

Smart Borrowing

Take Control of Your Debt

Paying for Major Purchases

Getting a Loan

Finance an Education

Managing Your Finances

What's Your Net Worth

Managing Daily Finances

Tax-Planning Strategies


Plan for Financial Success

Creating a Financial Plan

Achieving Short-Term Goals

Plan for Long-Term Goals

Retirement Planning Basics

Investing Wisely

Investing Considerations

What's Right for You?

Investing Techniques

Preserving Your Wealth

Reallocating Your Assets

Insurance Options

Wills and Trusts

Plan for Heirs

Gifting to Family & Charity

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Retirement Planning Basics

For some of us, retirement may seem a long way off. But consider this: the steps you take now will have an enormous influence on the quality of your life 10, 20, 30 or 40 years from now. Whatever your age, the time to start planning your retirement is now. All it takes is five simple steps.

STEP1: Establish clear, simple, and memorable goals.
Ask yourself, "When do I want to retire?" and "How much money will I need to retire?" Check out our Visual Retirement Planner in our related tools to help you answer these questions.

STEP 2: Put yourself on track to meet your goals.
When you retire, you'll want to have enough money to enjoy your free time and maintain your current lifestyle. The sooner you start putting money away, the more time it has to grow. Start a monthly transfer from your checking account to your investment account.

STEP 3: Make regular contributions to your company retirement plan.
If your employer offers a 401(k) or 403(b) plan, participate to the maximum. Your contributions are made with tax-deferred dollars so they may reduce your taxable salary, and both contributions and earnings can grow tax-deferred until they're withdrawn. If your employer matches your contribution, you're throwing away free money if you don't participate.

STEP 4: Contribute regularly to an IRA.
If you're not covered by a company retirement plan, make regular contributions to an IRA. Regardless of the type of IRA you qualify for - Traditional or Roth - your savings will grow tax-deferred. And even if you're contributing to a plan at work, consider putting some additional money in an IRA. To get on the fast track to retirement, go to our products and services page to view Wells Fargo retirement accounts and the type of IRA that best suits your situation.

STEP 5: Review your goals and track your progress annually.
Read your retirement plan statements and continue to monitor your spending. Are you on target? Remember, you're involved in a marathon, not a sprint: day-to-day fluctuations in the stock market will have little bearing on your long-term goals.

A rule of thumb
By the time you're ready to retire, you probably won't have the same expenses you do now. Some costs will decrease while others will increase. Many financial planning experts estimate that you may need as much as 60% to 80% of your current annual after-tax income to live on through your retirement to maintain your current lifestyle. Think about how you can trim expenses now in order to save more for the future. The sooner you start, the less painful it will be.



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