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August 27, 2015
Some things, you can set and forget. They’re better off left alone. Like roses, for example. The more you fuss over them the more they’ll grow sickly. But growing your money isn’t like raising a beautiful grandiflora specimen. Retirement planning requires attention, and it needs it regularly.
You don’t have to be a financial expert to watch over your money and help it perform at its best. A retirement calculator gives you a checkup. More than that, it helps you understand the ins and outs without necessarily hiring a professional.
Here’s why you need an annual retirement plan checkup:
The IRS Says So
Who better than the IRS to explain the importance of retirement savings? They make no bones about it when they say, “A retirement plan needs regular care to keep it operating properly.” If you’ve never thought about your retirement savings as a living thing, it’s time to start.
Laws go through updates, especially those dealing with money. If your portfolio is relying on outdated information, it’s not performing at its peak. Social Security is another agency that often moves the bar. What’s current now for retirement benefit projections might be vastly different from the information that you based your plan on.
Unless you’re sticking with the piggy bank method, your retirement savings plan has probably undergone a few changes.
HR Departments Say So
If you’ve contributed to a 401(k) plan, you can bet that it’s not the same as it was when you started. Sure, you probably received information about updates. But did you apply it to your overall plan? The Society of Human Resource Management says that employers shouldn’t “underestimate the importance” of reviewing 401(k) plans. And when they do, your plan could change.
A retirement calculator can generate updated information and recommendations when you update what you’ve got. What was true the last time you used a calculator might not hold true today. And if you’ve never used one at all, now is definitely the time.
Life events, including a new job, call for another retirement plan exam.
Mother Says So
When you were growing up, your mom made sure that you had your annual checkup. As important as checkups are for your physical health, that’s how important financial checkups are to your retirement plan.
Working Mother magazine asks, “We’re accustomed to annual physical checkups which help us stay healthy.” So it’s logical that our finances need the same attention. You should always listen Mother because she knows best.
While almost any saving is good and the same goes for a 401(k), IRA and other retirement investing device, they can’t perform at their peak if left unattended. Maybe you’ve had a baby. Or maybe one of your kids is heading off to college. Did you change jobs? Have you sold a house? So many things can change from one year to the next, and each one can affect the way that you save and invest for the future.
If you haven’t thought about your retirement plan in more than a year, it’s time to pull some weeds and take a closer look. A checkup doesn’t take long, especially when you use a retirement calculator. And what you learn can help you prune and fertilize and make your retirement plan bloom like an American Beauty rose.
NewRetirement is right at your fingertips with all the tools that you need for creating a healthy retirement plan. Take a few minutes and use our retirement calculator. You’ll see how your current plan is performing, and find out how to make it even better.
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