Why College Isn’t Too Soon to Start Planning for Retirement

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Kids think they’re going to live forever. When you’re 19 and at college, the idea of retiring seems like a distant event that will never happen. But, as anyone who is older knows, those years can go by fast, and when they do, you need to be prepared.

Why people need to start planning for retirement right now

There’s an old saying — “The best time to plant a tree was in the past, the second-best time to plant a tree is now.” The same is true of retirement — If you or your loved ones haven’t started yet, there is no better time to start than now.


Your money has more time to grow

This is the big one — The sooner you start, the more time your money has to grow. Retirement investing works through putting money into various financial assets like bonds, stocks, and mutual funds. These assets go up and down in value, but they always go up in value over the long term. The stock market returns an average of between 6% and 7% on invested funds every year. Want to know what a difference that makes?

  • Imagine you invest $500 a quarter — $2,000 a year. (That’s less than the price of a cup of coffee every day.)
  • Start investing when you’re 20, and by the time you retire that will be worth nearly $600,000!
  • Delay investing until you’re 40, and that final amount drops to $130,000…
  • Delaying investing until you’re older means you could be 75% worse off at retirement.

Avoid ups and downs in the market

The stock market goes up and down over time — Just look at the recessions in the early 200s and 2008 – 2012. In the short term, that matters, but over the long-term the stock market always trends upwards. By starting sooner, you reduce the impact of those short-term ups and downs.

Take advantage of “dollar cost averaging”

Dollar cost averaging is about making regular investments into a retirement plan. When the market is lower, your regular investment buys more. When the market is higher, it buys less. This has the effect of “smoothing out” your retirement investments and reducing risk.

Pay less taxes now

No-one likes paying taxes. If you contribute to a retirement plan, you can defer any tax on that money, meaning you won’t pay anything in it until you withdraw the money from the retirement plan in 40 years.

More to live on and a better quality of life

The best reason of all to start investing in your retirement now is that you’ll have a better quality of life when you do retire. You want to make sure you’ve got enough to live on, to support your family and loved ones, and to live life to the full.


  • Talk to an expert – and don’t overthink it! — Mutual funds, stocks, shares, bonds, trackers, rates of return, these can all be confusing, BUT the good news is that a few very simple funds can provide exactly the type of retirement planning you need. You don’t need to be an expert in the stock market, you just need to answer a few simple questions of yourself – such as what can you afford to invest, when are you going to retire and what are your goals?  You can always work with a retirement planner who can walk you through the process.
  • Get in the habit — Investing is all about habit. Once you know how much you can afford to put by each month, just invest 29% of that into a retirement account. You won’t miss it too much, and it will do you very well in the long-term.  Don’t forget to take advantage of your company’s 401K if it’s offered!
  • Remember it’s all about quality of life — Retirement seems a long way off, but it will happen. You want to remove the worry of tomorrow and focus on all the positive things you’ll be able to do when you’re no longer burdened by work.

Litchfield Bancorp can help!

Here at Litchfield Bancorp, we know retirement planning can be daunting. That’s why our IRA experts are on hand to help you prepare for your financial future. We’ll discuss our full range of IRA plans, and provide friendly, helpful advice. And the best part – there are no annual fees! Get in touch with us today.

Susan Dickinson
Assistant Vice President, Lakeville Manager

Easy Ways to Increase Your Brand Awareness Using Social Media

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Most businesses know they need a digital presence to promote their brand, and many have extended that brand strategy into the social media space.  Applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat, Yelp, and LinkedIn are growing in popularity.

But are you maximizing those spaces or do you just have a “spot”? Continue reading “Easy Ways to Increase Your Brand Awareness Using Social Media”

Health Savings Accounts in 2017 — Your Questions Answered

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It’s certain that the next few years will see some significant changes in the American health insurance system. With price fluctuations and carriers coming in and out of the market, it’s been difficult for families to budget.  Currently, there is one program that will help you reduce monthly fees and get a tax break: Health Savings Account (HSA). Here’s what you need to know about HSAs, and how they’re changing in 2017. Continue reading “Health Savings Accounts in 2017 — Your Questions Answered”


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Of all the decisions facing any prospective home buyer, one the most critical is where to find the best mortgage option, the one with the least hassle and the most favorable financing terms.  When, how much, and even if you’ll be able to borrow what you need to buy your dream house can often come down to who you work with to make it happen.   For most people, there are two possibilities, a mortgage broker or a direct lender, i.e. a bank, credit union or savings institution of some sort.  Continue reading “BANKER OR MORTGAGE BROKER: Which is Better?”

Wellness in the Work Place: Good for Employees and Employers

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Employees know their health is the most important thing they have, but many don’t have the time or energy to make their well being a priority. Long, sedentary, and demanding days sandwiched by tedious commutes make it hard to focus on one’s health. Our life and work styles mean poor habits are growing. Continue reading “Wellness in the Work Place: Good for Employees and Employers”

Is Your Business Scalable? 6 Tips to Grow

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As a seasoned business owner, you know how tough it is to grow your business. Some years you work your tail off just to squeak out another percent. But growth can come easier if you adjust your model to one with high scalability.

Your ability to scale depends mostly on what you do. If your business depends on your skillset, scaling will be difficult. There are only a certain number of hours in a day you can Continue reading “Is Your Business Scalable? 6 Tips to Grow”

Are rental properties REALLY a smart investment?

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Investment in rental properties, especially residential properties, is increasingly being seen as a hot new earnings opportunity.  In the wake of the economic down turn, as the rate of home ownership in the U.S. has fallen, the rental market has grown steadily.  With mortgage lending standards tighter and cash for potential home buyers more scarce, the number of renters has climbed, pushing rents ever higher in most Continue reading “Are rental properties REALLY a smart investment?”


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For most borrowers PMI (or Private Mortgage Insurance) is just one of the many mysterious charges that get folded into their total monthly mortgage payment.  But anyone in the market for a new home, and the inevitable mortgage that comes with it, needs to understand how it works, and how it can be avoided.  Simply put, PMI is an insurance policy that your lender takes out as protection against the possibility that someday you will no longer be able to make your mortgage payments, except that it is your responsibility to pay the monthly premiums.  Also, the lender is typically the beneficiary, not you or your heirs. Continue reading “PMI: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW”