It is important to conduct regular check-ups on your retirement plan to make sure you are on track to reach your retirement goals.
We make annual appointments to check in with our health, but shouldn’t we also be periodically checking in on our wealth? Having a financial plan for retirement is critical, but so is making sure that you stick to your plan. Below are a few questions to ask yourself, at least annually, to see if (and how) they may affect your retirement planning.
Review the Past Year
Did you receive a raise or inheritance?
If yes, you may want to increase your contributions.
Did you get married or divorced?
If yes, you may need to change your beneficiary form.
Are you contributing enough to ensure you maximize any match your employer may offer?
Don’t leave free money on the table! Check with your employer to confirm their match formula and get to it!
Did you change jobs and still have retirement money with your previous employer?
You may be able to consolidate your assets with your current plan. (Ask your human resources department for more details.)
Set a Goal
Are you striving to contribute the recommended 12-15% savings rate or the maximum amount allowed by the IRS?
Consider utilizing your plan’s auto-increase feature to keep saying a little more (e.g. a 1% annual increase) each year without feeling the pinch. In 2020, you can contribute up to $19,500 ($26,000 for employees age 50 or older).
What do you want your retirement to look like? Do you want to travel? Will retirement be an opportunity to turn a hobby into a part-time business? Will you enjoy simple or extravagant entertainment?
Take time to map out your specific goals for retirement. Participants that set a retirement goal today, feel more confident about having a financially independent retirement down the road.
Gauge Your Risk Tolerance
Understanding how comfortable you are with investment risk can help you determine what kind of allocation strategy makes the most sense for you. Remember, over time, and as your life changes, so will your risk tolerance.
Ask for Help
If you have questions about your retirement plan or are unsure of how to go about saving for retirement, ask for help. Our team, or your own financial professional, can help you evaluate your progress with your retirement goals, determine how much you should be saving and decide which investment choices are suitable for you.