With 2017 at a close, it’s another year down, another year older, and another year closer to retirement. Whether you’re 35 years from retirement or 5 years away, it’s always important to review the past year and plan for the year ahead. Each stage in our life can offer different obstacles and opportunities.
If you’ve never invested before or are just starting out in your employer’s retirement plan, consider contributing, at a minimum, enough to capture the full match, if available. Try increasing your deferral percentage 1% each year, it may not sound like much today but it can make a huge difference when you are decades away from retirement. Also, you just might want to keep your investments simple by investing within an age-appropriate Target Retirement Fund.
Maybe you’re in the “Raising a family” stage. Tracking your expenses can be difficult but the help of a finance app such as Mint or Personal Capital can help make sure you don’t overspend and help you save towards an emergency fund and retirement. Work up to saving 15% of your salary towards retirement or possibly maxing out your annual retirement contributions.
Maybe the kids out of college, the mortgage is paid off (or almost there), and you’ve reached your peak savings years. If that’s true- it might be time to boost your contributions! Starting in 2018, anyone age 50 or older can contribute up to $24,500 in a 401(k) or 403(b). You might look at consolidating any old employer retirement plans into your current one, but you’ll want to consider fees and investment choices first. Check with your HR department to see if your current plan allows rollovers.
If retirement is coming into view- now’s the time to review the type of risk your current portfolio has. The returns of the previous years have been great but aren’t guaranteed to continue. You’ll want to reposition your investments in an area you’re comfortable with. Knowing the right mixture between stocks and bonds and your risk tolerance can be difficult. You might want to consult with an investment professional. Union Bank & Trust has professionals you can sit down with to visit about your situation.
Please visit Union Bank & Trust’s Retirement Education Center to review risks, goals, and best practices for any age.