Free for 90 days: Sign up now and get 90 days managed free after your first deposit. See offer details

<title>Dismiss</title>

Retirement Preparation at Each Life Stage

No matter your age, you should be vowing to boost your retirement savings to enjoy the life you lead (or more!) in the future. Betterment can help you do that.

Articles by Betterment Editors

By the Editorial Staff
Betterment Resource Center  |  Published: January 2, 2013

When you're younger you can afford to take more risk with your investments as you will have longer in the market.

After 50, you can make additional "catch-up" contributions in many kinds of retirement accounts.

This year, no matter how old you are, commit to improving your retirement situation.

In Your 20s

It’s easy to tell yourself that you have plenty of time when you are in your 20s. No matter how young you think you are, now is the time to start saving for retirement. Compound interest will work in your favor for longer. Learn about investing, and how it works. Start contributing to a retirement account, whether it’s a 401(k) at your work, an IRA, or both. It doesn’t matter if you can only contribute a small amount; the important thing is to get started and in the habit.

In Your 30s

This is a good time to really concentrate on the accumulation/growth phase of your retirement nest egg. You’ll have time to recover if you make mistakes. Plus, now that your earning power has (hopefully) increased, it’s a great time to boost your retirement savings. In your 20s, it was all about getting started. Now, you can probably afford to contribute a little bit more to the cause. Pay attention to your asset allocation, and really get serious about developing a solid retirement portfolio.

In Your 40s

Now that you are starting to inch closer to retirement, it’s a good time to double-check your savings. Are you really investing enough? Do you need to rebalance your portfolio and reconsider your asset allocation? If you think that you will retire early, it might be time to start shifting from accumulating assets to preserving them. At the very least, you should be maxing out an IRA for you and for your life partner.

In Your 50s

Hopefully, by this time, you have been regularly contributing to your retirement account for decades. Even if you haven’t been, you can still take advantage of compound interest if you start immediately to make significant contributions to a retirement account. You can even make “catch up” contributions to tax-advantaged retirement accounts once you turn 50. If you have been saving up over time, now is when you start moving your asset allocation to reflect safety and income over growth and accumulation. It’s also a great time to reflect on what you want to do with your time during retirement, and start making plans to downsize.

No matter your age, you should make it a goal to improve your retirement. Work on building your assets, and paying down your debts.

Plan now, invest in your retirement accounts, and your future self will thank you.

Recommended Content

View All Resources

How We Use Your Dividends To Keep Your Tax Bill Low

Every penny that comes into your account is used to rebalance dynamically—and in a tax-savvy way.

Can You Have a 401(K) and an IRA?

This is a great question. The answer is yes, you can have both. Should you have both? It depends.

Investing in Your 20s: 4 Major Financial Questions Answered

When you're in your 20s, you may be starting to invest or you might have some existing assets you need to take better care of. Pay attention to these major issues.

Explore your first goal

Cash Reserve

Our high-yield account built to help you earn more on every dollar you save.

Safety Net

This is a great place to start—an emergency fund for life's unplanned hiccups. A safety net is a conservative portfolio.

Retirement

Whether it's a long way off or just around the corner, we'll help you save for the retirement you deserve.

General Investing

If you want to invest and build wealth over time, then this is the goal for you. This is an excellent goal type for unknown future needs or money you plan to pass to future generations.

See details and disclosure for Betterment's articles and FAQs.