The good news is you'll probably live longer than past generations. The bad news is living longer means you will need more money for retirement - possibly up to 30 years' worth! Whatever your retirement plans, the last thing you want to worry about during retirement is outliving your money.

One of the best and simplest ways to enjoy retirement is to take advantage of your employer-sponsored retirement savings plan, such as a 401(k), 403(b) or 457 Deferred Compensation plan as early in your working years as possible. Keep in mind that such plans can save you money today and in the future. Here's how: Less tax today: Contributions to your plan are made prior to income tax deductions, which means you're paying less in current taxes from each paycheck.

Less tax tomorrow: Your retirement account grows tax deferred, meaning you won't pay taxes on it until you withdraw funds from the plan. Since you'll most likely be in a lower tax bracket during retirement, you'll pay less in taxes than you would today. And start saving as early as possible. When you invest, you earn interest on your money. And then that interest earns more interest. That's called compound interest and its how your retirement grows over time. The sooner you start, the more you can save. Look at this example.

You invest $1,000 per year in your 401(k) plan starting at age 25 for only 15 years until you are 40 years old. Total investment of $15,000. Or you invest the same $1,000 per year, but you wait to start when you are 35 years old and invest for 31 years. A total investment of $31,000. Assuming an 8% annual rate of return, the first scenario gives you about $200,000 at age 65 while the second scenario gives you about $135,000. A whopping $65,000 difference! So help your retirement plans by saving and saving early.

Not sure on how much to save and whether you can save considering your competing priorities, go through your Personal Financial Index® (PFI) to get your personalized financial plan and your new PFI score in less than 10 minutes. You can access the PFI from your employee portal. Remember, your account is already created on this secured and privacy protected tool and your information is saved for subsequent use. This service is FREE to you (your employer pays for it). If you need help with any questions or want to discuss your financial situation in a confidential way, give us a call at (781) 366-0060.

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