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Time to Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

May 11, 2015

Retiring Your Way


Chances are you’ve just finished up your tax return for 2014. If you are like every other American taxpayer, you wonder how it could be any more confusing. There are all kind of exceptions, pages of forms and piles of paper before you can even begin. It’s a daunting task. There must be a simpler approach.

In our financial lives, we often forget to “keep it simple.” Now is the time to simplify your own financial life by making a few easy changes.

Reduce the Paper Mountain

Sign up for E-statements
It’s simple! Just go to, log in to your retirement account, and follow the instructions under tools for E-statements. That way you will have your statement when you need it.

Combine Accounts
Wouldn’t it be simpler to track one checking account or just a couple of investment accounts? That makes it easier to know your asset allocation and see the big picture. Also, having fewer financial institutions to work with make the job simpler.

Stick to One Credit Card
Making a single credit card your primary-use card keeps you from having to shuffle through all those extra cards in your wallet, helps you track your spending and makes it simple to cancel a card if your wallet or purse goes missing.

Bank Online
Once you have set up your checking account to pay bills online, it will save you time and save you money.

Put Your Investment Plan on Automatic Pilot

Check your Asset Allocation & Auto Rebalance
Check your asset allocation at least annually. Does it still fit your time horizon and risk tolerance? If you want to maintain a specific asset allocation, your Union Bank account can be set to automatically rebalance. Check out the Asset Allocation Calculator under Retirement Calculators.

Consider a Target Date Fund
If you are not sure what your asset allocation should be, let the experts do it for you. Pick the Vanguard Target Date Fund that most closely matches the year you expect to start withdrawing from your plan.

Raise Your Contribution Annually
Each time you get a raise from your employer, give your retirement plan a raise too. It will feel less painful.

If Available, Take Advantage of the Match
Absolutely always take advantage of any company match. It’s FREE MONEY! Become educated on your retirement plan and what it can do for you.

Analyze Your Decision Making Process

Prioritize Financial Commitments
Actually sit down and prioritize your financial commitments. Is retirement loaming on the horizon? Is it paramount to pay off your mortgage? Do you have revolving credit card debt? What’s a priority to you?

Revisit Goals & Your Progress
Every three months revisit your financial goals and evaluate your progress. Are you focusing on the “important stuff”- like Retirement?

Calculate Your Net Worth
It’s important to look at the total picture by calculating your net worth. Use the Net Worth Calculator under Retirement Calculators. Then track it, so you can see the progress you’re making.

Take steps today to simplify your finances. With that accomplished, you should have more time and money to enjoy your tomorrow.

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This blog article is for informational purposes only, and is not an advertisement for a product or service. The accuracy and completeness is not guaranteed and does not constitute legal or tax advice. Please consult with your own tax, legal, and financial advisors.