Plan Your Journey

Find Your Path to Retirement

Congratulations! You’re doing the right thing and taking steps to plan for and live in retirement. How confident are you that you’re doing everything you can to be on track to meet your goals? Are you aware that you can stay in the plan after retirement or termination? We’re here to help you understand what life stage you might be in. With just a click on a tab below, you can look at the different life stages and see which one best fits you, as well as your level of confidence that you’re on the right track.

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Time Is On Your Side and You Feel Confident

With several years until you retire, you’ve been actively investing in your retirement plan. You’re looking to invest more and learn what options might help you reach your goals. You want to stay on track and understand the tools and information that can help you do that.

There are things you can do to help maintain this path, from educating yourself on what you may need when you retire, to considering increasing your contributions, to reviewing your plan on a yearly basis.

Tips to stay on this path

You’ve taken some good steps toward meeting your retirement goals by enrolling and contributing to your retirement plan. There might be additional options available to you, giving you the added confidence that you’ll stay on the right path.

  • Use the My Interactive Retirement PlannerSM to understand if you’re on track to reach your retirement goals.
  • Consider increasing your contribution a little each year, even if you can't contribute the max, to potentially move closer to your retirement goals. Even small increases can help. A great time to consider this is with any annual pay increase.
  • Investing earlier may give your investments the chance to grow with the power of time and compounding. Compounding is the process of continually adding any earnings you might receive to the amount you contribute (principal) and then reinvesting them to create more potential earnings. The more time your money has to earn, the more opportunity for compounding. Keep in mind, investing involves market risk, including possible loss of principal.

The need to save more

Don't cut yourself short when deciding how much you'll need to invest for retirement. Consider your goals and factors that may affect how far your money will go.

  • Lifestyle – Consider how you want to live in retirement. Will you be content with gardening and an occasional weekend trip or are you looking forward to a condo on the beach and golf several times a week. Whatever lifestyle you choose will have an impact on how much you need to invest now.
  • Inflation – The United States has experienced average inflation every year, except two, since 1955. Chances are good that things will cost more in the future.1
  • Healthcare – Healthcare costs now account for more than 20 percent of all personal spending, double what they were in 1970.2
  • Longevity – Whether you're 20, 40 or 60 years old, living past 100 is becoming more and more common.

Get the help you need

We’re here to help you understand what steps are available to you. If you have any questions or just want to talk retirement planning, call your Financial Advisor today.


1Historical Inflation, Inflationdata.com, http://inflationdata.com/inflation/inflation_rate/HistoricalInflation.aspx?dsInflation_currentPage=2 (accessed 10/3/11)

2The National Retirement Risk Index, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, February 2008

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Retirement Is Near and You Feel Confident

You’re invested in a retirement plan and are planning to retire in the next five years, so you’re probably feeling pretty confident – that’s great! Have you considered all the options you can take advantage of before you hit retirement?

Employees in your mindset are generally thinking about how to transition from investing to spending. It’s important to understand your options, what changes may take place and how to prepare for retirement.

Things you can do now:

  • Consolidate your accounts – If you have balances in former employer plans, consolidating your accounts may make it easier for you to see just how much you have invested and make it easier to manage your investments.
  • Re-evaluate your investments – Take a look at your investments and adjust as needed.
  • Use the My Interactive Retirement PlannerSM – See how prepared you really are.
  • Consider your options – Should you work longer and stay in the plan or take a lump sum, partial sum, annuity payout or rollover?
  • Prepare for risk – Learn more about inflation, market risk and living longer in retirement.

Qualified retirement plans, deferred compensation plans and individual retirement accounts are all different, including fees and when you can access funds. Assets rolled over from your account(s) may be subject to surrender charges, other fees and/or a 10% tax penalty if withdrawn before age 59 ½.

Develop a plan as you near retirement

Managing your money may become easier when you have a plan to work from. Your Financial Advisor can help you work through the options as you develop a strategy to move from investing to spending.

  • Set goals – Consider how you want to live in retirement. List your needs. List pastimes, hobbies and interests. List which expenses might go up, and down, over time. List where your income will come from. And consider how long you need your money to last.
  • Create a budget – Use your goals to build a budget that may help you balance spending against your income and savings.
  • Start slowly – Spending too quickly could put you at risk of running out of money, so start spending slowly until your spending plan becomes clearer.
  • Stick around – If you can afford to delay taking withdrawals from your Retirement Plan account, your money can stay invested, which may allow the account to grow and possibly reduce the risk of outliving your money.
  • Know your Plan’s payout options – Understanding how you could be affected by each distribution option, and when you may be required to take money from your account, could help you decide how you want to manage your income in retirement.

And remember, the only thing constant in life is change, so allow your spending plan to be flexible enough to change as your life changes.

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Time Is On Your Side and You Feel Unsure

You have years until retirement, but you’re feeling that you may not be doing enough to save for your future. There are options out there for you to start saving now, helping make for a financial future that may better fit your needs. Getting started now with your defined contribution 403(b) retirement plan with Nationwide can make a big difference to you being closer to meeting your retirement goals. You have the opportunity to create a plan to start saving now, to increase your contributions, and to set the stage for you to be confident you have taken steps necessary to help provide income while in retirement.

There are things you can do now, to get you on the right track:

  • Evaluate your situation – Take just 10 minutes to see how much to start investing for the future with the My Interactive Retirement PlannerSM. Use the Paycheck Impact Calculator to find out how much you can afford to increase your contributions.
  • Enroll if you haven’t – The sooner you enroll, the more time your money has an opportunity to possibly grow. Skim through the Why Should I Participate? section to learn about the potential advantages of participating in your 403(b) plan.
  • Do an account review – If you’ve enrolled but feel like you’re ready to invest more, or evaluate your investment options or asset allocations, then talk with your Financial Advisor to do an account review.

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Retirement Is Near and You Feel Unsure

If you’re within five years of retirement but haven’t invested regularly or long enough in your 403(b) plan, you're probably feeling unsure about your retirement years. The good news is that it’s never too late to save or increase your current contributions. You may want to look at your asset allocation or have an annual review to see if your current plan fits your long-term plans.

Things you can do now, even in the short-term, to help you get on track:

  • Evaluate where you are now – Talk with your Financial Advisor to start an Account Review to see where you really stand – it might be better than you think.
  • Play catch-up – Take advantage of special rules that may allow you to invest more in your retirement plan in the years leading up to retirement.
  • Discover ways to invest more – Once you’re in the plan, our calculators can help you budget to invest in your defined contribution plan.
  • Use the My Interactive Retirement PlannerSM – It can help you set goals for retirement.

Keep in mind that investing involves market risk, including possible loss of principal.

Make a Retirement Checklist

Use this list over the long-term to help guide your decision-making process and possibly avoid a few mistakes along your way to retirement.

  • Think about where you’ll live – Many retirees remain in the same home or same community after retirement. Considering downsizing or moving to a less expensive community may help your retirement assets last longer.
  • Increase your paycheck contributions – Plan ahead for inflation. When planning for retirement, it may be safe to assume that prices will rise. After all, the United States has experienced inflation every year, except two, since 1955.1 Anticipate spending more than you think you would.
  • Focus on your health – Just like inflation, medical care costs may be significant part of your retirement planning. If you increase your contributions now, managing medical expenses in the future may be a little easier.
  • Pay down your mortgage – Think about retiring your mortgage before you do. If you have cash left over after paying off other debts, paying down your mortgage may reduce financial stress and might even help you sleep better at night.
  • Reduce your risk – Talk with your Financial Advisor about options you might have for reducing your exposure to market risk.
  • Find out about all sources of income you can expect – Contact your current and former employers to find out if you are entitled to any pensions, and if so, how much you can may expect to receive. Also, use the Social Security Administration’s Online Retirement Estimator to see how much you may receive in Social Security benefits.
  • Consider working longer – One potential way to help prepare for retirement is to work a few additional years. Working even a few additional years may help your investments potentially benefit from time and compounding, though there is not a guarantee of growth or against loss.
  • Work with a professional – Continuing to work with your Financial Advisor as retirement approaches may help you stay on-track for fiscally fit years in retirement.

1Historical Inflation, Inflationdata.com (accessed 10/3/11)

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Living in Retirement

You’ve made it to retirement! But what does this really mean to you? Retirement means different things to different people. Maybe you’ll decide that this is a time to just relax and enjoy family or take a year or two to travel around the world. Or perhaps you are planning to try a new career or business venture.

Things to consider can include:

  • Staying in your plan – You can keep your money in your plan to continue taking advantage of tax-deferred savings. There’s no need to take your money out and pay possible taxes, fees and commissions.
  • Withdrawals are taxable income to you in the year the payments are made.
  • Visit the IRS website – Review the frequently asked questions about Required Minimum Distributions (RMD), and calculate what your RMD may be.
  • Transitioning from saving to spending – Learn more about payout options, timing of distributions and more. Understanding how you could be affected by each distribution option, and when you may be required to take money from your account, could help you decide how you want to manage your income in retirement.
  • Re-evaluating your investments – Take a look at your investments and adjust your asset allocation as needed to help bridge the gap between your spending needs and what your retirement plan and Social Security offer.
  • Create a budget – Use your goals to build a budget that may help you balance spending against your income and savings.

Keep in mind that investing involves market risk, including possible loss of principal. Also asset allocation does not guarantee gains or prevent losses.

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