Will you be ready to retire? That’s a question that a lot of retirement plan participants can’t answer, but it’s important. It’s hard to know how much you should be saving if you haven’t set any financial goals for your retirement. Retirement plan consultants have some suggestions for ways to help you assess whether or not you’re on track to a confident retirement.
Start by calculating your retirement savings goal.
To figure out where you are, you need to know where you’re going. Your savings goal will be affected by many things, including your age, how much you’ve already saved, other sources of income you may have, when you plan to retire, what type of retirement you want, and how long you’ll live. Fortunately, there are a number of retirement calculators available for free, such as this one from Investor.gov.1 You’ll need to estimate your Social Security income, which you can calculate at their website.2 Retirement calculators often work differently or rely on different assumptions, so it’s probably a good idea to use two or three and compare their results. When you’re done, you should have an approximate amount you should be saving each month to fund your retirement.
Check your performance.
After you’ve established your monthly savings goal, you need to track your portfolio’s performance. As part of your retirement goal calculations, you had to choose a rate of return that you expected to earn on your savings to meet your goal. If you’re not achieving that rate of return, you may need to adjust your investments or increase the amount you’re saving.
Rebalance your portfolio.
When you set up your retirement plan, you selected specific investment classes for your money like stocks, bonds, or money market instruments. Your investment mix is based on several factors like your personal tolerance for risk and the amount of time you have before retirement. Over time, if one of these classes performed better than the others, you’ll need to shift funds so that your portfolio is back in balance. If your retirement plan offers target-date funds, rebalancing will be performed automatically for you. The target date is the approximate date when investors plan to start withdrawing their money. The principal value of a target fund is not guaranteed at any time, including at the target date.
Generally, you should take these three steps at least once each year to make sure you’re on track to a desired retirement. The Participant EffectSM is a program that serves similarly to a retirement plan consultant. We educate participants about retirement options and how much they should be saving through our program that offers your employees appropriate strategies to help them work toward their retirement goals. For more info
rmation, contact us at 1-888-968-9168.
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.