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Now that you've reached your peak earning years, it's time to increase your savings as your income grows. Consider taking that annual bonus or tax refund and putting it towards your retirement.

To help keep your investments on track, you may need to rebalance your portfolio regularly, including reallocating stocks, bonds and cash. If you're new to investing, learn about selecting investments to help you pursue your goals.

Your action plan
1

Maximize tax-advantaged retirement plan contributions

Tax-advantaged investments, like your company 401(k) or a traditional IRA, are a great way to build your nest egg because your savings can grow before taxes are deducted. These accounts may also help you reduce your income tax burden, since contributions come out of your paychecks pre-tax.

In the case of a Roth IRA, contributions are made on an after-tax basis and can be withdrawn at any time without paying taxes. Qualified distributions of earnings are generally federal and sometimes state income tax-free.1

Contribution limits
 
401(k) plan
IRA or Roth IRA
2017
$18,000
$5,500
Get started: Find the right IRA
2

Boost savings with "catch-up contributions"

If you're 50 or over, you can contribute an additional $6,000 to your 401(k) and an additional $1,000 to your traditional or Roth IRA. It's one of the fastest ways to make strides toward your retirement savings goal.

Learn more: Catch-up contributions
3

Changing jobs? Consider your choices

Consolidating your retirement assets into one easy-to-manage account is simple with
a rollover IRA. Consider all of your choices and learn if a rollover IRA may be right for you.2

Read: Changing jobs or retiring? Don't forget your retirement savings!
4

Monitor your investments and do "maintenance" as needed

Life changes, and your investment strategy should keep up with your financial goals and priorities; and market changes can affect the value of investments and your exposure to risk. That's why it's a good idea to rebalance your portfolio at least annually, and to periodically adjust your allocations to the appropriate risk level for your situation.3 Learn more about managing your investments.

Try: Asset Allocator™

Our Perspectives

Get insights from Merrill Lynch to help you plan and invest for retirement.

Changing jobs?

You can consolidate former employer plans or any other IRAs in a rollover IRA.2

Plan by life stage

Learn more about investing for this phase of your life.
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1 Please note, however, that income-based restrictions are still in place regarding how much you can contribute to a Roth IRA.

2 You have choices for what to do with your employer sponsored retirement plan. Depending on your financial circumstances, needs and goals, you may choose to roll over to an IRA or convert to a Roth IRA, roll over an employer sponsored plan from a prior employer to an employer sponsored plan at your new employer, take a distribution or leave the account where it is. Each choice may offer different investment options and services, fees and expenses, withdrawal options, required minimum distributions, tax treatment and provide different protection from creditors and legal judgments. These are complex choices and should be considered with care. Visit http://www.merrilledge.com/retirement/rollover-ira or call a Merrill Edge rollover specialist at 888.637.3343 for additional information about your choices.

3 Asset allocation, rebalancing and diversification do not ensure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets.

Neither Merrill Lynch nor any of its affiliates or financial advisors provide legal, tax or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.

Did you know that there are two ways to move assets from one IRA to another? The most common is a transfer. This is when you transfer assets from an IRA held at one financial institution to an IRA at another. You may directly transfer assets between investment firms as frequently as you wish. The second, less common approach is called a rollover. Rollovers occur when you withdraw assets from an IRA and then "roll" those assets back into the same IRA or into another one within 60 days. IRS rules limit you to one rollover per client per twelve month period. If you have questions or want to learn more call 888-MER-EDGE or consult a tax advisor.

A direct rollover occurs when you request that a rollover check be made payable directly to the new custodian for the benefit of your individual retirement account (IRA) or employer-sponsored retirement plan. A direct rollover is not subject to current tax or penalties.

An indirect rollover occurs when you request that a rollover check be made payable to you, after which you deposit the money into your IRA or another employer's retirement plan within 60 days. When such a distribution is made by the plan, the plan is required by law to withhold 20% of the taxable amount for prepayment of federal income taxes. If you wish to rollover the entire distribution, you must make up the 20% withholding out of your own funds, or you will be subject to income taxes and possibly early withdrawal penalties on the shortfall. If you fail to complete the rollover within 60 days, all or part of the money distributed to you will be taxable and a 10% additional tax for early withdrawals may apply.

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