When you invest for your retirement, you’re in control of your future. It’s up to you to decide where you want to go and how you’re going to get there.
When you work for a company that offers a retirement plan, it’s a huge benefit for you. Most companies offer a match to what you contribute, making the investment grow even more over time. While many retirement plans offer you the option of picking your own investments, you can also get professional advice or assistance from the plan’s customer service team. Most plans come with a lot of resources you can use to help you better understand the plan, your options within the plan, and different ways to get you to where you want to go.
Map Out the Destination Yourself
For anyone who is interested in learning all they can about their retirement plan, there’s plenty of information available. If you feel comfortable mapping out the future of your retirement, you can do it all yourself. You have the choices of:
- Reviewing the options in your investment plan and picking which ones you want to invest in
- Selecting what asset allocation fund works for you in your current situation and changing those allocations as your situation or risk tolerance changes
- Choosing a target date fund based on your age and the proposed date of your retirement
Hire a Financial Travel Planner
Maybe studying the stock market and diving into retirement plans just isn’t your thing, and that’s okay. You’re certainly not alone. A lot people would rather have someone else do the heavy lifting and plan it all out for them. Hiring someone to map out your goals and the destination you want to get to is as easy as finding the right financial professional for you. This type of help is especially beneficial to those who may have more complex finances or who have a lot of different goals for their money beyond just planning for retirement. For an annual fee, an investment professional will select and manage any funds in your accounts and provide the right information to accomplish all of your goals.
Stop and Ask for Directions
Some people want to map out the destination themselves, but may not have all of the experience they need. Most retirement plans offer their participants access to online advice tools or a number to call and ask for guidance that is plan specific. These representatives can advise on the investments in the plan, ways to allocate them, and even when it might make sense to rebalance the funds based on your age or specific circumstances.
Keep Your Eye on the Destination
No one takes a road trip without looking out the windows to see the view. The same should be true for your retirement plan. You want to know where you’re going by:
- Reviewing your portfolio periodically and rebalancing it to a preferred target date if warranted
- Potentially combining accounts to lower fees and using a built in fund monitor if it’s available in your company’s plan
- Updating beneficiaries after each major life event, such as getting married, having a child, or getting divorced
- Choosing systematic, partial, or lump sum income options that fit your current needs, or continuing to keep investing that money if you don’t need it right away
Whether you’re mapping out the destination yourself, getting professional help, or stopping and asking for help along the way, we’re here to help you on the journey to retirement.