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The 3 A's of Saving

Whether you’re an experienced investor or just getting started, there are factors that need to be considered during each stage of saving. These three A’s are essential components that need to be evaluated: amount, asset mix, and accounts. Each of these aspects impact your retirement plan, so it is important to be aware of these factors during your working years to help prepare for retirement. Take a look at these three factors and how they can impact your retirement savings.


It is important to consider the amount you’re investing. While this amount is unique for each investor, Fidelity Investments recommends 15% of pre-tax income each year. This 15% may include contributions from workplace sponsored plans, including 403(b) and 401(k) plans. If you’re contributing to an employer sponsored plan, make sure you are contributing enough to get the entire employer match. If you do wait to start investing, you may need to invest over 15% to attempt to compensate for lost years. Talking with your financial advisor can help you determine the amount you need to invest based on your age, investment history, and personal goals.

Asset Mix

Asset mix considers the various investment vehicles one can utilize to work towards their financial goals. These include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, REITS, and a variety of other options. Each of these have a different amount of risk as well as potential return. Luckily these do not have to stay the same throughout your financial journey as your risk tolerance evolves. Fidelity Investments states, “We believe that an appropriate mix of investments should be based on your time horizon, financial situation, and tolerance for risk.”


There are several investment vehicles that are specifically for retirement; 403(B)S, 401(K)s, and IRAs. There are various types of IRAs including traditional, Roth, Simple, and others. IRAs have different taxation rules. Traditional IRA contributions are pre-taxed. This may decrease the amount you will pay in the future. On the other hand, Roth IRA contributions are made after tax. One way you can determine which is appropriate for you in the outlook on taxes. Tax rates may be high or lower in the future. Being able to examine the outlook will help in your decision for which is the most appropriate option.

Each of these factors can have a big impact on one’s retirement. Evaluating them throughout time and making changes as needed can help set you up for success. Discussing each of these topics with a financial advisor is a great way to ensure your retirement plan is on the right track.

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advice offered through GWM Advisors, a registered investment advisor. GWM Advisors, Southern Point Investment Partners, and Fidelity Investments are separate entities from LPL Financial.

The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss. Contributions to a traditional IRA may be tax deductible in the contribution year, with current income tax due at withdrawal. Withdrawals prior to age 59 ½ may result in a 10% IRS penalty tax in addition to current income tax. The Roth IRA offers tax deferral on any earnings in the account. Withdrawals from the account may be tax free, as long as they are considered qualified. Limitations and restrictions may apply. Withdrawals prior to age 59 ½ or prior to the account being opened for 5 years, whichever is later, may result in a 10% IRS penalty tax. Future tax laws can change at any time and may impact the benefits of Roth IRAs. Their tax treatment may change.

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