Retirement Saving Dos and Don'ts

Consider these tips as you plan for a more secure financial future.

2020 has certainly been unlike any other year. For retirement savers, the events of 2020 likely have prompted questions regarding how to plan for the future amid both a global pandemic and an economic downturn. No matter your current situation, there are still some helpful dos and don'ts to keep in mind as you look to plan and save for your retirement.

Do...

  • Consider streamlining your finances. If you have multiple retirement accounts from past employers, consider consolidating those assets into your current employer-sponsored retirement plan. This can allow you to more easily manage your retirement investments and savings in one account and may reduce your account management and maintenance fees.* Outside of your retirement plan, you may also want to re-examine your short-term spending to identify ways to reduce expenses.
     
  • Maintain regular retirement contributions. Whether you've changed jobs or are dealing with unexpected financial stresses, it's crucial if you can manage to maintain regular contributions to your retirement savings, even if the amount is less than usual. This gives more of your savings the opportunity to grow faster over time.
     
  • Stay calm and focus on the long term. Despite the market volatility that occurred early in the pandemic, it's important not to panic. Remember that, historically, financial markets typically have recovered after a downturn and that your retirement plan is meant for long-term saving. By staying invested through difficult times, your retirement portfolio may regain lost value as the market continues to recover. Please note that the performance of the Separate Account investment options is not guaranteed, and any assets allocated to them may decrease or increase in value. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.  

Don't...

  • Press pause on retirement saving, if possible. While periods of market turbulence may tempt you to halt contributions, by continuing to invest, you will have the chance to benefit from potential future gains when the market rebounds. By not making regular contributions, you will miss out on any matching contributions your employer may make, along with the potential growth of all those contributions over time.
     
  • Make an early withdrawal unless you've exhausted all other options. Although taking an early withdrawal may seem appealing, doing so will lock in any losses you may be experiencing at that time. This can negatively affect your financial health in the long term by missing the opportunity to participate in possible future market gains. Even if you faced more challenging financial circumstances this year than you'd initially expected, an early withdrawal should only be considered if you've exhausted all other options. Generally, withdrawals are subject to income tax at your ordinary income tax rate at the time of withdrawal, and if made prior to age 59½, a 10% federal tax penalty.
     
  • Try to time the market. Rather than trying to base your retirement contribution decisions on daily market moves, remember that retirement savings should be invested with a long-term objective in mind. Compounding of returns over time is a powerful force for achieving retirement goals. That's why it's important to focus on the long term instead of trying to time the market.
If you have any questions about your retirement plan, we can help. Please contact your local Mutual of America representative today.
 
 

*

Before making a transfer, you should review the accounts you have with other providers to determine the fees and expenses you currently pay and whether there are any surrender charges that may result and to ensure that it is in your best interest to transfer your other accounts to your current plan.



You should consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses of the variable annuity contract and the underlying investment funds carefully before investing. This and other information is contained in the contract prospectus or brochure and underlying funds prospectuses and summary prospectuses, which can be obtained by calling 1-800-468-3785 or visiting mutualofamerica.com. Read them carefully before investing.

Mutual of America's group and individual retirement products are variable annuity contracts and are suitable for long-term investing, particularly for retirement savings. The value of a variable annuity contract will fluctuate depending on the performance of the Separate Account investment options you choose. Upon redemption, you could receive more or less than the principal amount invested. A variable annuity contract provides no additional tax-deferred treatment of benefits beyond the treatment provided to any qualified retirement plan or IRA by applicable tax law. You should consider a variable annuity contract's other features before making a decision.



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