Information from the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Saving for Retirement

Saving for retirement can feel overwhelming. Many of us aren't sure how much money we need or how to get started. Below you will find some retirement savings resources and information.

Start Early and Stay Consistent

To make the most of saving for retirement, start today. The power of compound interest grows with time, turning even small, frequent contributions into a substantial nest egg.

Take Advantage of Employer's Retirement Plan

If your employer offers a retirement plan, explore it. Investigate if your employer offers contribution matches and take full advantage.

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)

IRAs are retirement accounts that offer tax advantages. The most common types of IRAs are the traditional and Roth.

  • Traditional IRA: The tax advantage of a traditional IRA is that your contributions are tax-deductible in the year are made. You will, however, pay taxes when you withdraw.

  • Roth IRA: Contributions are made on an after-tax basis. When you withdraw in retirement, you will not be taxed. 

Pension Plans

A pension is a retirement plan that you put money into from current wages. Your employer may also match a portion of the your annual contributions, up to a specific percentage or dollar amount.

The money you put is then invested on your behalf. The earnings that the investments generate can than be withdrawn upon retirement.

401(k) Plans

A 401(k) is a retirement savings plan sponsored by an employer. 401(k) plans let workers save and invest a piece of their paycheck before taxes are taken out. Many employers match, up to a certain percentage, what you contribute. Taxes aren’t paid until the money is withdrawn from the account.

With a 401(k), you control how your money is invested. Employers usually hire a plan administrator, and they'll send you information about your plan and its performance.


Annuities are a type of insurance product that pays you income.. The insurance company makes regular payments to you in return for a premium or premiums you have paid.

Consider Assistance from a Certified Financial Planner

Consider working with a certified financial planner to develop a retirement savings plan. Working with a planner can help make sure you are saving and investing enough.

Avoid Withdrawing Early

Avoid withdrawing from your retirement accounts early to avoid fees, retain principal, interest, and tax benefits.

Additional Resources

Social Security Benefits Calculators
From Social Security Administration

Retirement Calculator

About Individual Retirement Accounts
From IRS

About 401(k) Plans
From IRS

Avoiding Retirement Fraud
From Investor.Gov

Learn about investment products.