Tips on Setting up a Successful Retirement Plan

Do you wonder if you’re taking the right steps towards a successful retirement plan? Here are some tips that can help you make sure you’re on track.

Know your starting point

  • What are the balances in your existing 403(b), 401(k), IRA, or savings accounts?

  • Do you own other assets which may be convertible to cash in the future?

  • What is your current income level?

  • Do you currently have or follow a household budget?

  • Does your employer offer a retirement plan?

  • What are you currently contributing toward retirement?

  • Are you taking full advantage of any possible employer match?

  • How much experience do you have with investing?

  • What is the current asset allocation of your investment portfolio?

Set realistic goals

  • How long do you have to save before retirement?

  • Do you know how much money you need to save for retirement?

  • How much risk are you comfortable taking with your investments?

  • Do you expect major future changes to your income or expenses?

  • How much can you realistically increase your contributions?

Avoid Pitfalls That May Reduce Savings Today and in the Future

  • Set aside and maintain an emergency fund for unexpected expenses.

  • Do not wait until late in your earnings years to start saving—start early.

  • Once you start saving, continue the habit, even if it is a small amount.

  • Avoid withdrawals during earning years, including loans and hardship distributions.

  • When you leave an employer, rollover your assets—don’t cash out your account.

You do not have to do this on your own

  • Discuss financial goals with your spouse and family.

  • Review potential budget changes and opportunities to increase contributions.

  • Read and learn to understand your account statements.

  • Utilize professional advice from your investment providers when it is available.

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