Athens Retirement Planning
Athens retirement planning can mirror the city, which is not only home to the University of Georgia, but also a growing population of retirees. Named one of the top college towns in the U.S., the GA city, 70 miles northeast of Atlanta, has the distinction of being named a "Southern Retirement Hotspot" by Retirement Lifestyles magazine and one of the 25 best places to retire by CNN Money. GQ Magazine also named it one of the "coolest cities in America."
For those interested in Athens retirement planning, it's never too early to start. Begin contributing to your company's 401K starting with your first paycheck after graduation. This is especially important if your new employer matches your contributions. Many companies will match contributions from 3% to 6% of your pre-tax compensation.
If you don't work at a company that offers a 401K, or are working on a freelance or contract basis until you land that first big job, start by planning to put a small percentage of each check into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). You can choose a traditional IRA or a Georgia Roth IRA. A traditional IRA allows you to contribute tax free, while contributions to a Roth IRA are taxed, but your earnings are not. In starting your Athens retirement planning, you may find that you don't have the required amount to open an IRA. If that's the case, search for a financial institution that will allow you to open an account with a lesser amount and make payments on a regular basis.
By planning to save from your very first paycheck, you will realize the benefits of compounding. If you can save $200 a month starting at 25, and earn 7% compounded annually, by the time you are 65, you will have socked away about a half million dollars for your new life in Athens. That's because each year you earn interest not just on your savings, but also on interest earned in previous years.
As you move into the next phase of your life, with children and a mortgage, don't let retirement planning take a back seat. You may find yourself decreasing your contributions as you prioritize funds toward growing your new family, but still try to contribute something towards your Athens retirement planning with each check. Besides growing your nest egg, it will help you stay in the habit of saving monthly, which will pay off richly when you are ready to retire.
As you near your 50s, it is a good idea to schedule time to sit down with a counselor to assess your financial status and what additional planning you may need to do -- if any -- to add to your nest egg before you are ready to settle into your new home in Athens.
Because the cost of living in Athens is about 10% lower than the national average, with median home prices around $137,000, you may find that your nest egg is just the right size to retire in style in this city. However, if the financial analysis finds that you aren't where you should be in your Athens retirement planning, you can make "catch-up" contributions of $5,500 a year to your 401K, on top of the $16,500 limit already allowed.
Take this opportunity to investigate other strategies, such as investing in mutual funds. Mutual funds have historically performed better than investing in individual stocks, but still allow you to spread the risk in your Athens retirement planning. For many involved in Athens retirement planning, you also can factor in the proceeds from selling your existing home to buy a new home in this GA city.
In Athens retirement planning, consider carefully when you actually retire. While 65 is the traditional age, many people today are pushing that to 70. Adding just five more years in the workforce has distinct advantages, according to experts. You continue earning a salary, which allows you to continue contributing to your retirement fund, and you will get a larger Social Security check once you do retire. Even once you are "officially" retired, many people continue working part-time jobs just to remain active, officials with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)say.
Straight to the Source
It also may pay to consult a financial specialist in the GA city, who can not only give you an insider's look at living in the city, but let you know if you are on track to live out your golden years in style in Athens. Start your search for a financial planning specialist at the Better Business Bureau in Georgia, which keeps a list of accredited businesses in Athens. There are several pieces to the puzzle of Athens retirement planning, but with help from a retirement planning specialist, you should be able to happily retire in Athens.
Retirement Planners In Athens
Financial Engines Advisors, LLC1680 Mall of Georgia Boulevard
Buford, GA 30519