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Did You Know?

February 28, 2012, Volume 58, No. 24

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“Did You Know” is a monthly series that includes valuable tips to help you get the most out of the benefits and services offered by the Division of Human Resources.

Your 3-Step Plan to Save for Retirement

If you’re like most people, you know how important it is to plan for retirement. But some of us fall short when it comes to saving. We know it’s critical to securing our financial future. But if you’re not saving yet (or you fell off track with your contributions), how do you start moving in the right direction? Follow these three steps to get on the road to retirement.

Create a budget. Depending on your age, you can contribute up to $22,500 annually to your retirement savings. First, calculate how much you should be saving for retirement (if you need help, use Vanguard’s retirement savings calculator to estimate). Then take a look at your monthly income and expenses, and figure out how much money you can save. Start contributing that amount, then explore other ways to build your nest egg as you go.

Develop an investment strategy. All of Penn’s retirement plans give you the freedom and flexibility to choose how much to contribute and how to invest your money. You can use our online system to enroll in a plan or make changes to your elections at any time. But if you’re struggling to figure out an investment mix that’s right for you, we have a number of resources to help you. Penn’s retirement vendors offer free one-on-one counseling to help you meet your financial goals. You can also rely on them for online support, whether you need to understand the basics of investing or you’d like help in deciding how to make the most of your contributions.

Track your progress. Don’t neglect to keep track of your savings once you decide how to invest. Remember to check your balances periodically to see if you’re maintaining the investment mix you wanted. And if your short- or long-term financial goals change, you may need to adjust your investment plan accordingly.

Want more tips for successful retirement planning? Visit the Human Resources website at www.hr.upenn.edu/benefits/retirement for a list of resources to help you meet your goals.

—Division of Human Resources

Related: Benefits Open Enrollment 2012–2013

Almanac - February 28, 2012, Volume 58, No. 24