We all love the idea of a relaxing retirement when you finally get to do all you never had time for. But we don’t all know how to plan money-wise for it. If you think about having an early retirement, plan ahead. One of the more popular ways of saving for retirement is with an Individual Retirement Account or IRA.

IRA’s are accounts that you put money in for large amounts of time- like a savings for your retirement. These contributions to your IRA are more often than not tax deductible which means that you will be getting two benefits, saving for retirement and helping to decrease your tax problems.

If your employer has a company sponsored IRA (usually a 401K) you may be even luckier. Firstly, you can have your contribution taken off right from your salary and you’ll never even miss it! Also, your employer may match some, or all of your contributions. If you work for someone who is nice enough to match contributions than you should take full advantage and set aside the maximum amount they are willing to match.  It’s cash for free, so you’d be foolish not to!

Another idea for increasing your savings is a Roth IRA. This plan is popular with the people that don’t have an employer sponsored plan. A Roth IRA though is not the same as an employer sponsored retirement plan as the contributions aren’t tax deductible. The advantage, however, is that when you take cash out, you do not have to pay taxes on your withdrawals. With a typical IRA, the contributions are “before tax dollar” but, withdrawals are taxed. With Roth IRA, the contributions are “after tax dollars” but your withdrawals shall not be taxed.

You should think about your retirement account as just that, a savings account for your retirement. This means you should forget about the cash until you have retired. Try not to make withdrawals from it unless it is a big emergency. If you get a new job, make sure to swap your 401K plan to your new companies plan though.

Wherever you can, steer clear of withdrawals from your retirement fund. For example, if you change jobs, move your 401k (or other pension plan) straight into a Conduit IRA. This kind of IRA will uphold your plan’s tax-deferred position and allow it to be swapped around to another potential employer’s plan.

There are lots of different methods to save for your retirement, things are never clear cut and fixed so you should find help from a financial expert to get the most out of your savings. And remember – it’s never too early to start saving for your retirement – the more money you have the happier will be!