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Focus on Retirement Planning—It’s Your Future

Close up image of a hand pointing at paycheck amount wiht a pen. On the background there are wallet, passports and social security card.

When most people begin their career, retirement is the farthest thing from their mind. Instead, they focus on trying to purchase a home, start a family, or perhaps save money for travel. Retirement seems so far away for many younger people that they delay putting aside money. However, it’s very important to save for the future—if you want to enjoy it.

An employer-sponsored retirement plan or 401(k) can be a useful way to set aside funds for retirement, especially if your employer offers matching funds on what you invest. If you don’t work for an employer that offers this type of plan, there are many other plans designed to help you save for retirement. From solo 401(k)s to traditional and Roth IRAs, there are programs designed to fit a multitude of budgets. The earlier you start to save, the more funds you’ll have ready for retirement.

My RA logoIn addition to traditional programs, the U.S. Department of the Treasury now offers a retirement savings option called myRA. There’s no minimum to open the account, you can contribute what you can afford, and you can withdraw funds with ease. To learn more about myRA, visit

And, as always, there is Social Security, which is funded by taxes you pay while you work. One of our most powerful tools to help you understand your future benefits is our website. And one of the most powerful tools in that toolbox is the mySocial Security account.

Create your online account at and then you’ll always have quick and easy access to see and update your information. You can use my Social Security to get estimates of your retirement, disability, and survivors benefits; view your earnings record; and get estimates of the Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid.

Prepare for your future and start saving—and planning—today!

Contributor Kirk Larson is a public affairs specialist with Social Security in the Washington state office.