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Retirement Funds Are Available For Everyone
Retirement Funds Are Available For Everyone
By Liz Lunn

Most of us hope we reach the ripe old age of retirement where we can kick back and enjoy many of the finer things in life. To have the financial capability to do that, one should start thinking about retirement funding at an early age. Retirement funds can assure a quality of living that you have become accustomed to throughout the years.

Retirement funds are available in a wide variety of selection and many investors choose more than one of these funds to diversify their savings. One may choose to put a certain percentage of the investment in an aggressive, yet high risk fund, with the possibility of a greater return on their money. Another percentage will be used in a more cautionary fund with less risk although this often leads to a lower return.

Unlike the general population, federal employees can take advantage of several retirement plans available from the government. The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) allows them the same benefits as a standard 401(k) plan and the Civil Service Retirement System (CRCS) offers another avenue of savings where the government agency adds additional funds based on years of service.

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974 enacted the Defined Benefit and the Defined Contribution Plans. These retirement funds differ as the Defined Benefit Plan will provide a guaranteed payment at the time retirement which is determined when the plan is set up with the employer. There is also less risk with this type of program and those who choose this plan will need to be with their employer up to the age of retirement for the best results. The Defined Contribution plan differs as there is no stated benefit amount at the account’s conception although the contribution amount is in consideration. The funds can be diversified using several different methods and it is riskier because it involves investments in the stock market.

Alternative retirement funds are also available are the popular traditional IRA and Roth IRA plans. The traditional IRA provides for income tax savings at the time of investment although it is taxed when benefits are paid. The Roth IRA differs as the monies are already taxed at the time of investment and encounter no tax when the investor is paid during the retirement period. There are several other benefits available with both plans and a traditional IRA can be converted to a Roth IRA. Some may also wish to consider a Target Retirement Fund which places contributions into both the stock market and mutual funds. They also provide a greater control for the investor over the risk of their investment.

There are several different 401(k) plans available for the private sector and are offered by many employers who match an employee’s contribution at certain levels. These retirement funds are normally tax deferred and can only be accessed at retirement age or investors will be penalized by the IRS in addition to the taxes. There special occasions where the penalty is negated and this includes those who buy there first home, the money is used for medical bills not paid by insurance, educational purposes and few other exceptions.

Now is the time for you to consider your involvement in retirement funds before you get much older if you want to guarantee a lifestyle that you currently enjoy.


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