Set up your savings to get you to your goal
You're almost there! Save as much as you can
Like a marathoner hitting the final stretch, now is the time to give your retirement savings all you've got.
Uncle Sam will make this easier for you after age 50, when you're eligible to make catch-up contributions to employer-sponsored plans and IRAs. (For the 2024 tax year, you can contribute up to $8,000 to IRAs; for 401(k) and 403(b) plans, up to $30,500 for the 2024 tax year, if your plan allows catch-up contributions.)
If you're able, this is also the time to begin maxing out your employer plan. In 2024, you can save up to $23,000 (plus any catch-up contribution) in a 401(k) or 403(b).
Sacrificing now to save more could pay off big in the long run. If you can save an extra $10,000 a year for the next 10 years, your balance could be about $140,000 higher when you retire.
Ramping up contributions in the next 10 years will make a big difference
This hypothetical illustration assumes an annual 6% return as well as annual contributions of $5,000 for 40 years (potentially increasing to $15,000 for the final 10 years). The illustration doesn't represent any particular investment, nor does it account for inflation.
GOOD TO KNOW
Over 98% of the retirement plans covered in our recent report offer catch-up contributions.
Source: Vanguard, How America Saves 2019. This study examined employer retirement plans (and their participants) managed by Vanguard.
Make sure your investments align with your goal
Do you know all the investments you own and how they fit together?
It's an important consideration no matter what age you are or how long you've been saving, but your asset mix becomes even more critical when you're only a few years from retirement.
It might be relatively easy to see what your allocation is for each account—by looking at your statement or checking your accounts online—but you'll need to get a picture of your total retirement savings in order to know whether you have an appropriate asset mix overall.
And remember that the asset mix you settled on years ago might not be the best mix for you anymore. For example, you may want to consider moving some stock assets into bonds, to cushion your portfolio from volatility.
Moving your assets can make your planning easier
Moving your retirement money to one place lets you view your savings all together, so it's easier to see how to get where you're going. And it could have other benefits, like lowering your investment costs and qualifying you for more personal attention, too.
Where does retirement fit into your priorities?
All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Investments in bonds are subject to interest rate, credit, and inflation risk.
When taking withdrawals from an IRA or employer plan account before age 59½, you may have to pay ordinary income tax plus a 10% federal penalty tax.
Vanguard's advice services are provided by Vanguard Advisers, Inc. ("VAI"), a registered investment advisor, or by Vanguard National Trust Company ("VNTC"), a federally chartered, limited-purpose trust company.
The services provided to clients will vary based upon the service selected, including management, fees, eligibility, and access to an advisor. Find VAI's Form CRS and each program's advisory brochure here for an overview.
VAI and VNTC are subsidiaries of The Vanguard Group, Inc., and affiliates of Vanguard Marketing Corporation. Neither VAI, VNTC, nor its affiliates guarantee profits or protection from losses.