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Starting Retirement Savings at 40

Apr 30, 20214/30/2021

Learning Center



We all have the best intentions when it comes to planning ahead, but sometimes saving for retirement sneaks up on you. If you’re starting retirement savings at 40, no worries; follow these steps to start making up for lost time.


Determine Your Need

To maintain your current lifestyle, you may need 60 to 100% (or more) of your final year’s salary each year during retirement. Start by asking three questions:

  • How much do I need?
  • How much have I saved?
  • Will Social Security be enough?

Starting Retirement Savings at 40: Set Realistic Goals

Determine how much money you need to save now to maintain at least 60% of your current income during retirement. Look at your monthly budget and set aside as much as you can toward your retirement saving goal. Once you have an amount, consider how investing that money may make it grow.


Start Investing

At a minimum, your retirement saving needs to keep pace with inflation, but you’d like it to grow faster than that. Products to help you save for retirement include:

  • Mutual funds
  • Annuities
  • Your employer’s 401(k) or other retirement plan

Mutual funds and variable annuities expose you to the potentially higher returns of the stock market by taking in more risk. There, your money may grow faster than it would if you put your money into a product with a fixed interest rate, like a CD or savings account.

Don’t overlook your employer’s retirement plan; if your employer matches contributions, contribute at least enough to take advantage of the maximum match.


Buy the Right Products

It might seem odd to spend money in order to make it, but it’s true when it comes to starting retirement savings at 40. Annuities and mutual funds can help you plan for retirement, and life insurance can help you prepare for the future.


Life insurance – Life insurance is unique in its ability to replace income when your beneficiaries need it most: to fund funeral costs, endow a favorite charity and provide for family members.


Annuities – Annuities provide future sources of income and possibly offer certain guarantees. Through this contract with a life insurance company, you pay premiums in exchange for regular payments to create an income stream that you can’t outlive.


Mutual funds – Mutual funds allow you to invest in a group of stocks or bonds and can offer lower risk options if you are new to the stock market.


WoodmenLife is your partner in achieving your financial goals. We can help you protect your family with life insurance and save for retirement with mutual funds and annuities1.


You should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of variable annuities and mutual funds carefully before investing. Call Woodmen Financial Services, Inc. at 1-877-664-3332 for a copy of the prospectus which contains this and other information about the annuity or mutual fund. You should read the prospectus carefully before investing.

  1. Investing in a variable product involves risk, including the possible loss of principle. Early withdrawals may be subject to surrender charges, and taxed as ordinary income, and in addition, if taken prior to age 59½, an additional 10% federal income tax penalty may apply. Withdrawals reduce annuity benefits and values.


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We’ve been helping to protect the financial future of families like yours, making a difference in hometowns across America and honoring our country since 1890. As a not-for-profit life insurance company, we put money back into the community. We’re here when you need us most.

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This is a solicitation of insurance and an agent may contact you.

Securities are offered through Woodmen Financial Services, Inc., 1700 Farnam Street, Omaha, NE 68102, member FINRA/SIPC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society (collectively “WoodmenLife”). Securities other than the WoodmenLife Variable Annuity are issued by companies that are not affiliated with Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society.

Benefits are available to members. An individual becomes a member by joining our shared commitment to family, community and country, and by purchasing a WoodmenLife product. These fraternal benefits are not contractual, are subject to change and have specific eligibility requirements.

Some fraternal benefits include additional membership requirements including length of membership, number of qualifying members in household and/or a qualifying event.

Check out the background of Woodmen Financial Services, Inc. on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

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A+ Financial Rating

This company was issued a A+ (Superior) rating by the A.M. Best Company, click for additional details. WoodmenLife has been awarded a rating of A+ (Superior), the second highest ranking out of 15, for its financial strength and operating performance in 2022 by A.M. Best, an independent rating company that is nationally recognized for its objective reporting and rating of insurers.

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