4Q2017 | Ages 30 – 49
Holiday Checklist for Your Retirement
Well, it’s that time of the year again. The leaves are starting to fall, baseball season is over, and the kids are back to school. It’s a busy time of year, and it’s about to get busier. If we can just make it to the Christmas break, everything will be alright.
During times like these, it’s easy to focus on the items at the top of our “To-do” lists. Planning for our future financial goals is not as pressing as making sure the Thanksgiving meal is planned, and that we’re on budget for Christmas. Believe me, I know the feeling. However, with the end of the year fast approaching, and a new year about to begin, this is a great time to give your finances a quick review.
Here are a few quick and simple “to-do’s” to make sure you are keeping an eye on your finances:
Log in to your company’s retirement plan website.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Think about how long it has been since the last time you reviewed your account. Once you log in, take a look at your account balance and the current mixture of stocks to bonds. Chances are, the percentage of money you have in stock based mutual funds has increased. Complete a risk tolerance questionnaire (if you are a member of one of QPA’s 401k plans, you should have one available on your company’s website, or you can get one by replying back to this email). Does the amount you have invested in stock funds match your risk tolerance? If you’re too heavy in stocks, consider making adjustments and call your plan’s financial advisor for some quick re-balancing help.
Review Your Bank Statements.
A key to managing your finances is understanding your expenses. Your bank statement will total your deposits and withdrawals for the statement period. Simply add up the total withdrawals from the last twelve month’s statements, and then divide by twelve to get your average monthly expense. Think about this number. Is it more or less than your average monthly deposit? Are there any changes that you could make to reduce your expenses? Is there enough extra money to begin funding a financial goal such as retirement or a child’s education.
Use Automatic Increase tools inside your retirement plan.
Most company retirement plans have the ability to automatically increase savings rate each year. Go ahead and turn this feature on so that you are slowly but surely saving more money each year. The slight increase each year will hardly be enough to notice out of each paycheck, yet the long-term results over your career will be significant.
So this holiday season, before you head out to go shopping for the kids, take a few minutes to review your finances. You’ll be amazed at how taking a couple of minutes to understand your finances will reduce some of the stress that comes with this time of year. In my experience as a financial advisor, many people get stressed about money just before, or just after Christmas. I hope that these tasks will help you get a quick and simple grasp of where you stand financially, and will help you make good decisions with your money to help you feel comfortable. If it’s been a while since you’ve visited with your financial professional, please give us a call today.
Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., “Cambridge,” a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Prime Capital Investment Advisors, LLC. “Prime Capital,” a Registered Investment Advisor. Prime Capital doing business as Qualified Plan Advisors, “QPA,” 6201 College Blvd., 7th Floor | Overland Park, KS 66211 | p: 913.491.6226 | f: 913.491.3214 | primecap-ia.com | Cambridge and Prime Capital are not affiliated.