TD Ameritrade

Getting Started

Once you’ve decided it’s time to start investing for retirement, there are several steps you can take to help you decide what approach is right for you. See our considerations and resources below for guidance.

Assess Your Financial Situation

Although it may seem like a long way off, starting earlier can help you accumulate wealth and deal with unexpected bumps along the way. It’s important to consider:

  • What do you want out of retirement?
  • How much do you currently take in and spend?
  • How much will you need to maintain a comfortable lifestyle?

As a rule of thumb, you’ll need between 60-80%* of your current income to maintain your standard of living, but this will vary based upon how soon you enter retirement. To help you estimate these considerations use our tools below.

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Manage Your Investments and Cash Flow

It’s easy to put things off until tomorrow… or maybe the next day. But with retirement, budgeting is required today. And contributing regularly can help you accumulate assets faster. Developing a monthly budget and learning to stay within its boundaries will help you make these contributions. Additionally, your budget will help you track your spending and develop the discipline that can help you when you finally enter retirement.

When creating a budget, carefully weigh competing demands such as:

  • Paying off debt
  • Managing a mortgage
  • Taking a vacation
  • Raising a family
  • Saving for college

See how these financial considerations – and waiting to invest for retirement - can cost you in the long run.

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Implement Your Plan

After assessing your situation, it’s time to look into available choices and then start investing. When weighing your options, consider:

  • How involved you want to be in managing your assets.
  • Whether there are any benefits to using your employer’s retirement plan.

Depending on your answers to these questions some products may be better suited to your needs. If you’re the do-it-yourself-type, our Mutual Fund Premier List, ETF Market Center, and research capabilities can help you decide between a traditional, Roth, or Rollover IRA. For those who aren’t comfortable with or don’t want to be managing their assets closely, a managed portfolio might be the right way to get started. For help, contact one of our retirement specialists.

Whichever option you select, utilizing features like automatic contributions to may help keep you and your investments on track.

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Evaluate and Adjust Your Plan

It’s important to monitor your investment strategy regularly. As your situation changes, you may need to adjust your allocations or investment strategy. No matter what plan you’re using, doing it on your own or a guided solution, it’s important to evaluate your progress from time to time. To help you do this we offer a number of intuitive tools that let you estimate the amount you need to retire and potential earnings, and knowledgeable support from our Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorsSM, who can help you identify areas of risk and discuss possible ways to help mitigate it.

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