Take the First Step
by Jon Flaherty
Have you ever procrastinated when it comes to your finances? It could be something small like reviewing your recent statements or it could be something larger and more complex like deciding to finally do something with an old 401(k) account. I’ve often found the first step seems to take the longest, especially if it is a task I’ve never done before. It’s purely the decision to start that holds up the process, especially when there is an element of unknown involved. When it comes to your finances, what are you putting off and do you realize how much it could be costing you?
A prime example of putting off decisions can be found with retirement accounts like 401(k)s. Maybe when you started with the company you chose to complete only those forms necessary to wrap up the on-boarding process. Are you contributing to the 401(k), and if so, how much? Surprisingly, many people do not understand their opportunities and limits within their plan. It’s important to keep an eye on this, and if your employer provides matching contributions you should defer at least that amount into your 401(k). By not looking at this you are potentially giving up valuable time for compounding growth that will help you on your way to a comfortable retirement.
Your contributions may also be put into a default fund within the account. Have you considered what you are investing into and whether it is a good investment for your future goals? If you’re not sure how to choose your investments, reach out to Vantage Financial and we’ll take that first step with you. It may seem small but having a proper allocation in your investment account can make a huge difference over time. Another item to consider is whether you’re making retirement contributions on a pre-tax basis or post-tax basis. Again, if you need assistance deciding whether a Traditional 401(k) or Roth 401(k) contribution makes the most sense don’t hesitate to call!
Have you changed jobs during your career? If so, do you have retirement accounts that are still with your former employer? Do you regularly check these statements and re-balance the account on a periodic basis? If not, your allocation is likely much different from when you left the company and may not be optimally invested. This again, over the long-term, could have a sizable impact on your retirement outlook. We can help you consolidate those accounts for easier management and help with putting together a proper overall allocation to align with your time horizon and risk tolerance. Once consolidated, we will continue to walk with you by monitoring the account, making necessary adjustments to the allocation and communicating any changes that should be considered.
Choices regarding your retirement accounts are just one example of what can unintentionally be put off and then forgotten. If your financial to-do list is extensive or has not been visited in a while, maybe it is time to act. From our Vantage Pointe, we can provide the guidance and motivation needed along the way. Take the first step and give us a call today.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendation for any individual. Where applicable, all data and information has been gathered from sources believed to be accurate such as the internet, nonaffiliated 3rd parties, news articles and professional subscriptions but this information is not warranted to be correct, complete or true.