Decades ago, people would enter the workforce and they would often depart with a pension after 30 years of service, which along with Social Security satisfied most if not all of their financial needs. This was likely all the financial security they needed for retirement. Nowadays, very few companies offer pensions but instead provide 401(k)-like (defined contribution) plans where the employee is permitted to save a portion of their annual earnings, subject to an annual limit, to a tax-deferred plan.
The new way of saving for retirement is largely self-directed and requires both knowledge and discipline: knowledge in determining how much you will need at retirement, how to reach those goals, how much to save, and the discipline to start early and stick with the plan. Younger professionals often feel there is plenty of time to save, but when they do finally begin, most wish they had started sooner. But how do you know that magic number you should be saving annually? If you started later in your career, how can you catch up? What ways are available to you to save? When is the earliest you can consider retiring? Retirement planning requires a detailed assessment that answers these various questions and more. This is not as simple as it sounds.