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– Whether you are new to the workforce or you are a seasonal professional, retirement planning is the secret to long-term wealth and it is never too early or too late to plan the best life in later years.

With the unique challenges and unpredictability caused by the coronavirus pandemic, many people have been forced to neglect or neglect their savings and financial planning. That is certainly understandable. But as the economy improves, new workers and those approaching retirement can take advantage of smart ways to plan and save in ways they may not have been able to a year ago.

The following tips from CFP, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the well-being of the public by supporting professional standards in personal financial planning, can give you some ideas on how best to plan your retirement:

– Go high-tech, with caution. “Tracking your personal finances is time consuming, not what you want to do in your retirement years,” says CFP Board Ambassador Bill Schretter, CFP®.

“I recommend all my clients to automate as many storage and reporting functions as possible. However, I do not recommend you to use free service applications,” he emphasizes.

Why? Many free service applications will use your information to try to sell you financial and non-financial products that you do not need and that could divert your retirement savings.

“I recommend that you purchase your own program or use programs provided by your advisor or bank to help you keep your finances organized,” Schretter says. “Let the app automate regular tasks, but leave the most important financial advice and management to qualified people,” he adds.

A CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL PLANNER ™ can provide guidance by considering these points in retirement planning, regardless of your current employment status or age:

– Review your goals. Does your retirement wish list include an Alaska cruise, an African safari, or your own house on a secluded lake in the woods? Do you want to open a small business or help children and grandchildren with the cost of education? Now think about the potential costs to plan smart withdrawals later.

– Watch out for tax traps. “If the withdrawal plan puts you in a higher tax bracket, you may want to reduce the amount you plan to withdraw,” says CFP Board Ambassador JJ Burns, CFP®.

Also, diversify with a series of accounts that are taxed differently for greater flexibility. If you don’t have a Roth IRA or 401k, it’s never too early or too late to start, and a certified financial planner can give advice on moving some retirement savings to one of these accounts to maximize future income.

Visit LetsMakeAPlan.org For more tips and hints to make the most of your retirement income.