Not ready for retirement? There's still time

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We’ve all heard how important it is to start saving early. For those who had to dig deep to bounce back from a tough time or simply didn’t start saving as early as hoped, here are some tips from Scott Roots, VP of OCCU’s Investment and Insurance Services Division.

1. What’s the most important piece of advice you could give someone whose retirement savings are not robust enough?

Certainly working longer is always an option. We all dream about retiring early, but that’s not always a reality for everyone. The other aspect of this is debt management. Minimizing or eliminating debt as we prepare for retirement is critical as well.

2. What about more aggressive investments? If a person is older and doesn’t have enough money in their 401(k), is it better to play it safe? Or risk more and hope for the best?

I don’t believe taking on risky or aggressive investment strategies later in life is a very good idea. I would recommend a balanced approach, continuing to save the maximum amount you can and continuing to work diligently on the debt management side of your financial plan.

3. My employer is too small to offer a 401(k) plan. What are my best options for savings?

Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs are generally available to any working adult. You can find access to these retirement plans through almost any financial institution, financial advisor, or insurance company.  Oregon Community Credit Union offers them.

4. What’s the biggest mistake individuals make when it comes to retirement savings?

The biggest mistake most people make is not starting their retirement savings plan early enough. Time is a very valuable asset when considering long-term savings strategies. That allows an investor to weather the volatility of the markets and not be concerned about current market conditions given their long-term outlook.

5. Any other advice?

As I’ve mentioned many times over the years, I’ve never met anyone who saved too much, but I’ve met many who have saved too little. Just start saving. It’s a habit that must become a routine that you don’t ever deviate from.

The bottom line?  Even if your retirement savings isn’t where you’d like it to be, the best bet is to continue to make saving – whether it’s into a 401(k), or a Traditional or Roth IRA – a priority, and to minimize your debt on the other side.  If you still have unanswered questions, arm yourself with the necessary information and take your questions to a financial advisor. They can walk you through your options and help determine which retirement savings opportunities are right for you.


*Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance products offered through LPL Financial or its licensed affiliates. Oregon Community Credit Union and Oregon Community Investment Services are not registered broker/dealers and are not affiliated with LPL Financial.

The investment products sold through LPL Financial are not insured Oregon Community Credit Union deposits and are not NCUA insured. These products are not obligations of Oregon Community Credit Union and are not endorsed, recommended or guaranteed by Oregon Community Credit Union or any government agency. The value of the investment may fluctuate, the return on the investment is not guaranteed, and loss of principal is possible.

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