According to a survey on retirement readiness by the Employee Benefits Research Institute, only 14% of Americans are confident that they will be able to maintain a comfortable lifestyle after retirement.

And among those, about 60% have less than $25,000 in savings, so depending on their age, they will most likely not be able to maintain a comfortable lifestyle after retirement. 

One of the biggest problems in retirement planning is that people put it off way too long or rely solely on one account or investment vehicle. Key elements for a successful retirement (whatever that looks like for you) include starting early and evaluating often.

Developing a retirement plan can be quite overwhelming, but there are some easy steps to take to jumpstart your plan and increase your retirement success. Here are five:

Step 1: Set goals. Define what a successful retirement looks like to you. How old do you want to be when you retire? What kind of lifestyle will you have? How much money will you need? Write your goals down and use them as a driving force in your retirement planning.

Step 2: Seek professional guidance to develop a plan. Once you know what you want to achieve, it is important to sit down with a financial advisor and devise a plan on how you will reach those goals. There are many options in retirement planning depending on your investment personality, your age, and your income. A financial advisor will walk you through all of the factors to consider and help you formulate an appropriate plan.

Step 3: Follow the plan. Open the necessary accounts and start putting money into them every month. If you are just starting out and can afford to save only $50 a month, do that. Small amounts can be meaningful over the long term.

Step 4: Contribute to your 401(k) plan. If your employer offers a sponsored plan and matches contributions, you are literally leaving money behind if you don’t contribute. At the very least, contribute as much as your employer will match. A 401(k) plan is an easy way to save for retirement because the money comes straight out of your paycheck every month. And while a 401(k) doesn’t require your active management, as with any investment, you should review it once a year to make sure that you are comfortable with the amount of money that you are contributing, your investment allocations, and the way your account is being managed — and make changes if necessary.

Step 5: Revisit your plan regularly. Circumstances in life are always changing. You get married; you have a child or children; your goals change; your job changes. Don’t leave your retirement plan behind; revisit your plan regularly to make sure that it works for you and your unique circumstances.

Following these five steps is an easy way to jumpstart your retirement plan. It doesn’t matter how old you are, where you are in your life, or how much money you make — now is the right time to start saving for your retirement.

Reesa Manning is Vice President and Senior Financial Advisor at Integrated Wealth Management, specializing in retirement and income planning. For more information, call Reesa at (760) 834.7200 or [email protected].

The above is being provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered investment, tax or legal advice. The information is as of the date of this release, subject to change without notice and no reliance should be placed on such information when making any investment, tax or legal decisions. Integrated Wealth Management obtained the information provided herein from third party sources believed to be reliable, but it is not guaranteed. Form ADV contains important information about the advisory services, fees, business, and background and the experience of advisory personnel. This form is publicly available and may be viewed at

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