Planning for retirement isn’t a one-time event. Like going to the gym, eating right, or anything else we do to take care of ourselves, retirement planning is a process. At every step of the way, it’s vital to evaluate your goals, track your progress, and make the adjustments you need to secure your financial future. Making a plan once and then assuming everything will work out once it’s time to retire may bring you some unpleasant surprises. In fact, recent research from Legg Mason indicates that “baby boomers between the ages of 53 and 71…are falling short on their retirement savings goals due to an overly conservative investment approach.” Regular reviews of your retirement plan
At the same time, you don’t want to adjust your retirement planning tactics just for the sake of change. It’s important to find a balance between being nimble enough to adapt to change and stable enough to allow time for your strategies to show results.
Want some guidances on when to adjust your retirement plan? Here’s are some tips on good times to make adjustments:
• Write down your retirement plan and set a reminder to review it on a regular basis. As per a 2015 study of Harvard MBA students, writing down goals increases your chance of achieving them. Write down your retirement plan and revisit it at least annually. Set a reminder for yourself on your phone, write it down in your planner — whatever you have to do to make it a regular habit.
• Use major life events as a signal to shift strategies. While an annual review is likely sufficient, there are events that serve as natural times to evaluate where you are and where you’re going. Have you moved recently? Gotten a new job or lost your current job? Had a baby? Gotten married or divorced? Inherited money or assets from a relative? All of these milestones have definitive financial implications, which means they may affect your retirement planning progress. For life events that you have planned, make sure to incorporate a final step to evaluate your retirement picture. For unexpected events, be sure to take time to review your plan after you’ve gotten through the immediate items you need to address.
• Remember that retirement tactics involve more than your employer sponsored plan. A 401(k) is just one piece of the retirement picture. Reviewing your retirement plan also includes reviewing your insurance coverage and regularly updating your will to ensure that everything in your portfolio is supporting your financial goals.
Need a partner in making sure you stay on top of your retirement plan? The Robin S. Weingast & Associate Team is here to make sure you don’t lose track of your goals and that you’re on track for the retirement you want. Contact us today to find out how we can help!