April 13, 2015

National Retirement Planning Week reminds Missourians to plan for their financial future

DIFP joins effort to promote retirement planning

Jefferson City, Mo. - The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration is supporting National Retirement Planning Week 2015, which runs today through Friday. The weeklong financial educational event is organized by the National Retirement Planning Coalition, a group of prominent education, consumer advocacy and financial services organizations.

"The challenges of everyday life often take priority over planning for our future," said Department Director John M. Huff. "However, having a plan for retirement is essential for having long-term financial stability during a healthy and fulfilling retirement."

Director Huff joined the National Retirement Planning Coalition leaders to kick off the week.

The Missouri Office of Administration estimates by 2030, persons older than 65 will represent more than one-fifth of the state's population. Providing for financial wellness in later years is an individual responsibility, and the earlier you start, the better off you'll be. From students to grandparents, there are steps you can be taking in every phase of life to empower yourself for the future you envision.

Even at a young age, children watch and absorb how adults around them manage money. The saving and spending habits they witness now will form lasting impressions on how they handle their own money in the future.

Similarly, raising financially-literate teenagers will set them up for retirement planning success. Parents can help them understand the basics of budgeting, saving smart and working toward a financial goal.

As teenagers transition into adults in their 20s, life as independent adults is just beginning. The younger you are, however, the more savings power you have thanks to a concept called "compound interest."

As individuals move into their 30s and 40s, earning power typically increases and good financial habits can lead to great credit and better interest rates when borrowing money. Employers also will likely offer retirement savings plans. During this mid-career life stage, it's a good time to set a retirement savings goal and enlist the help of a financial professional to help you reach it.

During your 50s, life becomes less about the kids (who are more independent) and more about you. You can focus more on your career and put more energy into what you want, both for today and for the future.

In your 60s, you can finally see retirement on the horizon. The time has come to plan that trip of a lifetime, meet that first grandchild or downsize from that big house. The time has also come to better research your Social Security benefits (and when it's best to start accessing them), Medicare coverage and long-term care options.

The coalition has retirement tools available on its website, www.retireonyourterms.org. The department also has retirement resources available on its website, insurance.mo.gov.