No matter what age you are, retirement planning matters. But how many of us get onto it as quickly as we’d like?

A Federal Reserve survey released in August 2014 revealed that a quarter of Americans haven’t started planning their retirement yet. Now is the time to make plans so you can build up a retirement fund to support you in old age.
Whether you are already planning your retirement or have yet to start, here are some tips to help you.

Know What You Need

The first step in planning for your retirement is being completely honest with yourself about what you will need to live on when you retire.

What kind of retirement do you envision for yourself? For some people, being able to travel or give to charity during retirement is important. For others, a simpler life will suffice.

Whatever kind of retirement you want be clear about that now so you can build up a true picture of what you will need to make that happen.

Plan to Save

No matter how little you start with, it’s vital that you do start saving.

To that end, it helps to make a plan of how much you can save and when, and be strict about putting that money aside for its intended use.

Consider looking at potential expenses you could cut back on to help boost your savings now; you’ll be glad you did when your retirement comes around.

Decide How to Save

There are different ways to save for retirement, and finding the right one for you is an important part of planning.

Two of the most popular retirement savings methods are:

• 401K plans allow you to contribute a tax-deferred portion of your income into a savings account. Your employer may also make contributions. Each 401K plan has specific rules about how much you can withdraw, when, and what kind of tax you will pay when you do, so talk to your employer about the details;
• Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) allow you to save for retirement while taking advantage of tax benefits. They are under your control and can supplement or, depending how much you can save, replace employer-run schemes.

Do Research and Get Advice

As the following article shows, when it comes to financial planning retirement, the choices and information can seem dizzying, which adds to the temptation to start another day. That’s why doing research and getting advice will help you.

Sources of advice include Government web pages, your employer or bank, charities, or private financial advisors. By getting informed now, you are helping to secure your future.

When you are ready to choose a retirement savings product, whether privately or via your employer, ask plenty of questions before deciding to sign up.

When it comes to retirement planning, the most important thing is that you make a start as soon as you can.

It’s never too early to plan for your retirement, but if you keep delaying you may one day find it’s too late.

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a wide variety of topics, including social media, SEO, retirement planning and IRAs.