Saving for Retirement

rivkadrJuly 13, 2005

I've started a new job recently -- it's a small technology firm, and they have no retirement benefits in place (nor are they likely to in the future). I've always worked for colleges in the past, and so have a small nest egg built through tiaa-cref. Now I'm not sure what to do to save for retirement from this point forward -- it was so easy before, you'd just say "I want x% of my salary put into retirement," and you didn't have to think much beyond that :)

I want something that is structured, and that I can't dip into (don't trust myself), so no just sticking it into savings. Does anyone have any suggestions of options that I should investigate? I see that tiaa-cref has things like mutual funds and IRAs -- should I investigate those?

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You can create your own Roth 401(k), and, while your contribution is limited to a certain amount, it's still something you cannot get to readily, and there are tax benefits to having one. TIAA-CREF would be a good place to start, since their expenses tend to be lower than that of many other brokerages and mutual-fund families. It also simplifies some of your paperwork, since all your retirement holdings are in the same custodial care.

I would strongly suggest, though, that you take a somewhat more active role in your investments. You don't say how old you are (doesn't matter to us, but it has some bearing on how you invest) or what your investment risk tolerance is, or how your current holdings are apportioned, but you should make sure your investments are diversified and appropriate for you at your current stage of life. There are "Dummies" books out there which are a good start, and I suspect there are some useful pages or links on the TIAA-CREF site (I save with Vanguard and they have good info on their site, too, that you can get to even if you're not an investor with them).

    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 10:26AM
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Wherever you end up putting your money.... and I think Steve-O has good ideas = I LOVE tax free munis. Look into them.

Dummies books don't really recommend them. Motley Fools NEVER recommend them .. oops... no profit for them I guess!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 4:09AM
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They ain't available everywhere, either.

Or useful in certain tax jurisdictions - don't think the Canada Revenue Agency would be impressed.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 4:27PM
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Steve's advice is excellent. TIAA-CREF or Vanguard. Set up a Roth IRA and have automatic deductions from your checking account each payday. The old traditional rule-of-thumb isn't a bad starting place--your age equals the percent of your retirement savings that should be in fixed income (bonds, etc). If you are 40, then you have 60% in stock funds and 40% in short to intermediate bonds.
Tax free investments (like municipals) are generally NOT APPROPRIATE for IRA's because the earnings in such accounts are already tax exempt. (sorry GINA)

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 8:46PM
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