Give Yourself a Retirement Review This Holiday Season

By Caroline Wetzel, CFP®

For many people with employee benefits like insurance, retirement, and legal plans, this time of year often is the re-enrollment period. Whether you are one of these employees, a business owner, or a retiree; no matter how busy you might be as the holiday season gets underway, take time to take care of yourself financially.


Consider giving yourself the gift of a few minutes sometime soon to review your retirement account beneficiaries, decisions, and features.

Review Your Beneficiaries

When you die, retirement plan accounts like IRAs, ROTHs, 401(k)s, 457s, and 403(b)s are designed to transfer directly to the people you designate as beneficiaries on the accounts. However, if you make a mistake with your beneficiary designation, your account could end up in probate, where legal procedures distribute your account to heirs. Here are some common beneficiary-related mistakes, and how you can avoid making them:


o you have more “to dos” to complete than time available to get everything done right now?

1. Outdated beneficiaries: The wrong person is named to receive your account when you die. Prevent this by double checking your retirement account beneficiaries once a year and when you change jobs, (re)marry, and divorce.

2. Forgetting to name alternate beneficiaries: In this instance, no beneficiaries are designated to receive your account if your primary ben- eficiary dies or is not able to receive the money. Avoid this by designating alternate beneficiaries.

Revisit Your Retirement Savings and Investment Decisions

When did you last review your retire-

ment savings and investing decisions? While many investors understand the importance of starting to save for retire- ment, few investors regularly evaluate what they are doing and why. As a result, they may miss out on opportunities to review their progress towards realizing their retirement goals and fine-tuning their approach, where necessary.

24 Natural Nutmeg - November/December 2020 Revisit your retirement savings and

investing decisions at least annually, as well as when you experience a major life change. Here are some questions that you might find helpful:

1. How much are you saving for retirement and why?

2. Can you afford to save more? Should you?

3. What positions do you hold in your retirement account?

4. When did you choose your current holdings and how did you choose them?

5. Given your current plans for retirement, do your investments continue to make sense? When is it time to re-allocate or adjust?

Understand Your Retirement Plan Features and Consider Whether They Make Sense for You

Different retirement accounts and

plans have various features. Consider, for instance:

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