Not everyone is lucky enough to have a job where you have a defined pension. These sorts of jobs, where you have a large guaranteed income upon retirement, are not that common anymore because many companies are now phasing out pensions in favor of 401ks and other investment opportunities. The problem for the individual is that if you don't invest your income properly, and choose the right investments, then you will end up in retirement with only social security. This is not likely to be a large source of income and there is even the issue that you might not end up with the funds as there is some worry that the fund might be in financial trouble in the future. This is why some people need to be aware of their retirement financial planning and take action. Here's what you need to look into:
One of the most popular investment options for the individual is what is known as a 401k. This is a program where you can invest a portion of your income into an account which can be matched by your employer. For instance, if your employer has 4% matching, then you can save $500 a month and your employer will match it $500. You have a variety of investment options including bonds, stocks, and mutual funds. There are a multitude of tax benefits to investing in a 401k. One of the big ones is that you will be able to reduce your taxable income. The money you invest into a 401k will reduce your income, and it will make it so that you pay less in taxes. So make sure to inquire as to whether or not your employer has a 401k plan and, if the do not, if they would like to implement one.
Roth IRA or Non-Roth IRA
If you don't have the option of a 401k, then you should look into a Roth or Regular IRA. These are Individual Retirement Accounts. The Roth IRA will not lower your taxes because it will taxed when you invest it. The benefit is that once you invest that money it grows tax free. This means that you do not have to pay taxes on the money when you withdraw it years in the future when it is time to withdraw. The traditional IRA, as opposed to the Roth, lowers your taxable income, which means you pay less tax now but will have to pay tax on the profits when you do withdraw it in the future. There are benefits and drawbacks to each, so look into each.