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What are my top retirement options?

How much do you need to retire? That's the question people must answer as they plan for retirement. It's never too early to start, especially as the cost of retirement continues to grow. The first step in planning for retirement is to calculate how much you need to save; then, you must understand the top retirement options and how each option can help you reach your goal. The top 3 retirement calculators we recommend are:, uses current interest rates and real-time numbers, and both use sliders but base their ends on different inputs. Each of these sites will use a different calculus to achieve their

numbers, so review your situation and check out each one. The top 3 retirement plans will depend on your personal situation. We recommend you look at the Traditional IRA, the Roth IRA and see if your employer offers a 401k plan. See below for more information.

Finding a retirement calculator can help you determine how much money you need to save. Fortunately, retirement calculators can be used for free on various Web sites (see our recommends above). While you should never rely on a retirement calculator to provide an official goal for your retirement savings, using a calculator can give you a rough estimate of what your savings goal should be. Consider meeting with a financial consultant to further review your goals and the top retirement and investment options to help you achieve financial freedom.

Evaluating your top-ranked retirement options means understanding the various types of plans available to you. Your employer may offer a 401k plan, which can help you save for retirement over several years using pre-tax dollars. You may be eligible for profit-sharing plans or payroll deduction IRAs, or you may be eligible for SEP, IRA or Roth IRA plans. Each of these plans is arranged differently, with some relying on savings and others relying on investments. Different retirement plans also have varying rules to regulate how and when you can withdraw funds from your accounts. For example, an employer-based 401k plan can be closed out at any time, but there's a hefty penalty owed for closing out a 401k before reaching retirement age.

Talk to a financial planner to learn which retirement option is right for you and to calculate your finalized retirement savings goals. Take this quiz to gain insight on which retirement options may be best for you.

Does your employer offer a 401k plan?
Have you ever had a 401k with a previous employer?
Have you used a retirement calculator to estimate your projected savings?
Are you part of an employee pension plan?
Do you work for a company with 100 or fewer employees?
Do you already have knowledge of either of these retirement plan options?
Do you have any experience with investing?
Does your employer offer a profit-sharing plan?
If using an employer-based retirement option, would you prefer to have a portion of your wages be diverted as contributions?
Would you want to be able to access your retirement savings early?