How to plan for retirement

When you start to plan for retirement, you may want to consider what your funding sources will be. Social Security and your company pension might not be enough. In addition to considering 401(k)s, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and 403(b)s, here are four steps you can take to help you figure out how to plan for retirement:

  1. Budget for expenses by determining how much money you'll need for retirement
  2. Get started by understanding the different ways to save
  3. Grow your savings by investing your retirement assets over time
  4. Stretch your retirement income after you have retired

How much money will I need for retirement?

Retirement planning expenses

In addition to understanding your sources of retirement income, you may also want to focus on what your expenses in retirement are likely to be. Starting to plan now may help you avoid sudden surprises. Consider creating a retirement budget and saving for retirement.

Health care and long-term care costs

The longer you live, the more likely it is that your health care costs will increase. Later, you’ll be glad you had the foresight to take these expenses into account.

Types of retirement accounts

There are several types of retirement accounts:

  • IRAs
  • 401(k)s
  • 403(b)s


Looking to save for retirement without the help of an employer? Learn more about how IRAs work.


Does your employer offer a 401(k) retirement savings plan? As you start your retirement planning, read about what differentiates these plans and how enrolling can help you reach your savings goals.

Also consider how to handle your 401(k).


403(b) savings plans are offered to employees of schools, hospitals, nonprofits and churches that have a significant impact on the communities they serve.

How do I manage my retirement investments?

Retirement investing strategies & portfolios

Investing for retirement can help you grow your savings. As you formulate your retirement plan, keep in mind that your investment needs will likely change in the future; for example, you may want to take less risk down the road.

How can I make the most out of my retirement income?

Estimate spending potential
The LifePath® Spending Tool can help estimate spending potential in the current year, plus savings and retirement spending estimates over time.
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How can I protect my retirement account?

Planning for retirement can be a cause for worry. Retirement concerns, like income risks and tax implications, can keep us up at night.  You can gain peace of mind by understanding these issues and planning for them. This is where professional advice can help. A financial professional can help answer any questions you may have.