Best New Year's Resolution for Retirement Savings

By J. Saunders Wiggins, CFP®, AIF®

J. Saunders Wiggins, CFP®, AIF®

J. Saunders Wiggins, CFP®, AIF® CEO/President

I don’t know about you, but it’s hard for me to believe that it’s a new year already. Where did 2017 go? A client recently asked me if I could recommend one piece of advice for retirement savings in the New Year, what would it be? My overwhelming response was to schedule a financial checkup in 2018. 

One of the best things you can do for your financial situation is to sit down with an advisor that can assist you in taking stock of your investment and retirement savings portfolios to gain a clear picture of your current financial situation and help you set some realistic retirement goals.

Obtaining an understanding of your current financial situation is a critical foundation for setting and meeting all your financial goals, including retirement. Based on the information ascertained during the meeting, you and your advisor can set realistic goals and milestones towards a successful retirement, whether you plan to retire in two or 20 years. Once you’ve worked with your advisor to create a financial plan, you will gain peace of mind, knowing that whatever course you set in motion is working in the background, allowing you to focus on your life and not worry about your financial goals.

You may consider forgoing the meeting with your financial advisor and attempt to create a retirement savings plan on your own. While it is possible to do this on your own, I wouldn’t advise it.  Having an advisor perform this review gives you someone to hold you accountable, point out areas of savings you might miss due to familiarity and answer any financial or investment questions. Even as an advisor myself, I meet with my financial advisor to review my financial situation once a year. Besides, the meeting will take only approximately one hour of your time, a small price to pay to gain peace of mind. Once you establish an initial relationship with an advisor, I advise meeting on a yearly basis to review your plan or, more frequently, if your financial situation changes.

You might think that compiling all your financial details in one place and talking about them with someone else sounds stressful. Quite the contrary, a financial review should not be stressful. In fact, talking about your income, assets and liabilities with an advisor allows you to set realistic and achievable financial goals. These goals provide clarity around your finances that encourages confidence about your financial decisions regarding spending, saving, investing, etc. This clarity and confidence provides peace of mind about your current financial situation and helps pave a clear path forward.

Regardless of whether you are just starting out in the workforce or you are planning to retire within the next 10 years, you can benefit from a financial checkup today. So make it a priority to schedule a financial checkup with your advisor in 2018.

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— Topics: Retirement, Financial Planning, Asset Allocation