Five-point Inspection for Your Retirement Plan
Just like with a car, it’s a good idea to perform some annual maintenance on your retirement plan. Here’s a five-point inspection guide to help you continue to get good mileage out of your plan and ensure it stays reliable on your trip to retirement.
1. Review Your Retirement Saving Goals
It’s challenging to predict your retirement needs, particularly if you’re in your 20s or 30s. But, financial planners generally recommend replacing about 75% of preretirement income. Even if your retirement is decades away, you should use a retirement calculator at least once a year to estimate whether you’re on track to reach your goals. Your recordkeeper will likely have retirement calculators and other planning tools on their website. You can also check out the interactive retirement calculator at aceyourretirement.org, which includes a digital “retirement coach” that can help walk you through some personalized retirement plan action steps that may help you achieve your retirement goals.
2. Increase Your Retirement Plan Contribution
While the ultimate goal is to max out your retirement account contributions, don’t stress if you aren’t there yet. Focus first on making sure you contribute enough to receive your full employer match if your plan offers one — otherwise, you’re missing out on free money. Then, aim to increase your contribution by at least 1%–2% each year, working up to saving 10%–15% of your pretax income each year. Finally, make sure to review current retirement plan contribution limits. While you might not have been able to contribute the maximum amount in the past, you may have more to save now.
3. Rebalance Your Investment Portfolio
Over time, market changes can lead to shifts in your portfolio’s asset allocation. For example, you may have started with a 75/25 stock-fund-to-bond-fund split, but changes in the market caused stocks to now account for 85% of your portfolio’s value. That’s why it’s important to periodically check your asset allocation to see if it aligns with your current strategy. Remember that you may also want to rebalance to a more aggressive or conservative allocation should your tolerance for risk change.
4. Consolidate Your Accounts
You may no longer contribute to a 401(k) you still have from a past job. However, rolling over funds from one or more accounts into one retirement account can help make your financial life more manageable, keep your savings organized and potentially reduce your account management fees. Just make sure you follow transfer or rollover rules to avoid getting hit with an unexpected penalty or tax bill.
5. Review or Name Your Beneficiaries
When you first signed up for your retirement plan, you may have skipped this step. Or, you may want to make adjustments if your family status has changed. Make sure your designated beneficiaries align with your will if you have one. Also, please note that the law requires written consent from your spouse if you decide to name anyone besides them as the beneficiary when it comes to employer-sponsored retirement plans.
Source: First Florida Investment Services*
This material was created for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as ERISA, tax, legal or investment advice. If you are seeking investment advice specific to your needs, such advice services must be obtained on your own separate from this educational material.
*Securities and advisory services are offered through LPL Financial (LPL), a registered investment advisor and broker-dealer (member FINRA/SIPC). Insurance products are offered through LPL or its licensed affiliates. First Florida Credit Union and First Florida Investment Services are not registered as a broker-dealer or investment advisor. Registered representatives of LPL offer products and services using First Florida Investment Services, and may also be employees of First Florida Credit Union. These products and services are being offered through LPL or its affiliates, which are separate entities from, and not affiliates of First Florida Credit Union or First Florida Investment Services. Securities and insurance offered through LPL or its affiliates are:
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