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How much should clients save by age 30: Retirement Scan

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How much should clients have saved by age 30?
Although retirement is decades away, clients in their 20s should focus on retirement savings as much as they pay attention to other financial needs, such as the rent and credit card balance, according to this article from Barron's. “A lot of people mistakenly think in a linear way -- that they will start to save for retirement once they pay off debts,” says an expert with Fidelity Investments. “Saving now is how you set up your future. Do it now on the front end of your career, and you will be in a good position.”

Successfully saving is only half the journey
The strategies and tactics that clients use to build their nest eggs may no longer be applicable when clients get close to retirement and after they retire, according to this article on Kiplinger. This means that they have to modify their approach to income planning as they continue to aim for safety, yield and liquidity. One approach is to manage their retirement portfolio by separating investments that provide principal protection from good-performing but risky investments.

3 lifestyle decisions to make before retirement
Before retiring, clients need to make important decisions that could have a great impact on their retirement prospects, such as whether to lead a frugal or lavish lifestyle in the golden years, according to this article from U.S. News & World Report. Pre-retirees should also decide whether to keep their current home or move to a smaller home to reduce living costs. Another decision to make before retirement is to hire an adviser to help with managing their finances or handle their investments and other money matters without professional help.

How to manage a 401(k) in uncertain times
In the face of political and investing uncertainties, clients should continue saving in their 401(k) plans and avoid moving their funds outside the plan, according to this article on Nasdaq. Studies show that this decision could do more harm than doing nothing at all. 401(k) participants should realize that market declines are normal and their investments within the plan are for retirement. They should also continue participating in the plan to get the benefits, such as employer's match, tax deductions and tax-free growth on earnings.

Q&A: Social Security withdraws must start at 70-ish and they can be taxed - to a point
Based on the Internal Revenue Service rules, a client who retired in February at age 75 has to start taking required minimum distributions from his 401(k) plan this year, according to this article on USA Today’s website. According to these IRS rules, the RMD amount will be computed by dividing his account balance prior to Dec. 31 by a life expectancy factor in Appendix B of Pub. 590-B.

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