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Are You Maximizing Your Retirement?

by Jeremy Holcombe

Remember the days when most companies all but guaranteed retirement? We don’t either.

These days retirement is a process of carefully planned steps and goals. Do the right things at the right time, and you will end up with a nice retirement fund. Don’t do anything, or fly by the seat of your pant,s and you may end up in a lot of trouble financially when it comes time to retire. Here are some things to do to maximize your retirement goals.

According to a recent survey from Merrill Lynch:

“Nearly 40% of adults age 50 and older fear they will run out of money in retirement. Making matters worse, only a third of older adults feel prepared for retirement if everything goes as expected, and less than a quarter feel prepared if one spouse dies or is forced to retire early for health issues.”

Make Goals and Stick With Them

Goals, goals, goals.  Make them, follow them, and proceed to keep doing so until you have accomplished all of them. Then make more goals and accomplish those. You will find that accomplishing certain goals will put you on the right track toward retirement, as those goals will interact with one another to give you a much clearer picture of everything.

Portfolio Check-Ups

Treat your portfolio like your body, with quarterly check-ups to ensure that everything is running smoothly and that nothing needs fixing. You may want to dump a stock, add more money somewhere, or invest in something new.

Take Advantage of the Maximum

Every dollar counts. Make your employer contribute the maximum; add the maximum amount allowed at the end of each year; take advantage of tax breaks; and keep adding until you can’t legally add any more in a certain time frame. Individuals who are 50 or older can take advantage in their 401k plan by contributing an extra $5,500 on top of the normal $17,500 contribution limit.

Article Sources: Merrill Lynch | USA Today

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