Before every long road trip, you probably have a check list to run down before taking the wheel. GPS? Check. Tire pressure? Check. Full tank of gas? Check. However long or short the list is, this road test is consulted before every trip.
A similar checklist can be used for the journey to retirement. Let’s take a look at the eight checkpoints along the way: (Click here to read the White Paper in its entirety)
- Where Are You Going?
Define when you want to retire and how you want to live out your golden years. Your retirement plan may hit some bumps on the road, so keep a long-term perspective on what is within your control
- Near or Far?
Know where you are in relationship to your retirement destination. Looking at your total account balance isn’t enough
- How Do You Get There?
Save money. Sounds simple enough, but it takes discipline to start saving early.
- Will Your Vehicle Make It?
With so many employer sponsored 401k plans, it’s a challenge to find your car between the Ferraris and the lemons. Ask your employer questions like, “What are the plan costs?” and “Why were the vendors selected?”
- Do You Have Enough Fuel?
Many Americans believe they are running out of “gas” before they reach retirement. With the right planning process and sound advice, you can reach your destination.
- Where and When Will You Fill Your Tank?
Don’t wait until the gas light comes on to refuel. You can either defer more money, or you can work longer. You can even do both.
- Can Your Vehicle’s Performance be Improved?
Even the best automobiles need the oil checked, so too does your retirement plan. An investment tune-up may lead to improved performance.
- Are Your Lines of Communication Open?
No one likes to road trip stag, so don’t go alone. Ask your employer questions or meet with the investment advisor for the plan. There are plenty of co-pilots to help guide you safely to your destination.