Time for your 401(k) check-up

Just like you need an annual check-up, your 401(k) plan should have one, too. Here are some things you can do to make sure your retirement plan is healthy.

Review your retirement goals
Your 401(k) contributions today help you build a retirement nest egg to cover your living expenses once you no longer work. Your retirement lifestyle will likely include a number of goals you’ll want to plan for. Review your progress annually to help stay on track.

Maximize your contributions
Contribute as much as you can to your plan. This reduces your taxable income and your money grows tax-free until you make withdrawals. If you get a raise, increase the amount you contribute instead of spending it. Take advantage of employer matches for retirement plan contributions. Make sure you’re contributing enough to get the match. It’s like getting free money!

Review your investments
Check your mix of investments to see if it matches your goals. Early in your career, you may see more long-term growth by investing most of your money in stocks. As you approach retirement, your priorities may be very different. Conservative investments like bond funds and money market mutual funds make more sense to provide safety and income as you grow older.

Mutual funds are the main investments used in 401(k) plans. The annual expenses of running the funds you own reduces your returns. Your plan will have a number of funds available in each securities category. Compare the fees in the funds available to make sure you’re not paying more than you need. Talk to your plan administrator or your financial advisor to learn more. 

Update your beneficiaries
Review your named beneficiaries and make changes, if needed. If changes in your life occur such as becoming widowed, divorced or remarried, contact your plan administrator to review your beneficiaries. By keeping these designations up-to-date, you’ll be sure your assets are distributed the way you want upon your death.

Look after your 401(k) like you do your health. Give it a check-up annually and make changes as needed for a more robust retirement.

Article provided by Local Government Federal Credit Union.