New Year’s resolutions rarely stick but if your resolutions were for proper retirement planning (and they should be) then you simply can’t allow them to lapse. Consider it a New Year’s follow-up and take your cues from Robert Powell of MarketWatch and his recent list of eight retirement-planning resolutions for 2011. There is a good deal of specific information to be gleaned from this article and his eight resolutions but I've taken the time to condense them into 3 resolutions which you should place on a yearly check list:
Resolution #1: Take stock of where you are, and maintain that awareness. It is all-too-easy to simply lose track of your accounts. Get organized, and keep records in a journal or software program. For that matter, keep in touch with the custodian or trustee of your accounts, and for simplicity’s sake consider consolidating under a single custodian. Moreover, learn and understand all the features of your accounts and how to best utilize them.
Resolution #2: Act on that knowledge and maximize all your strategies so they work best for you. If you have a 401(k) try to contribute up to the $16,500 maximum, and the additional $5,500 “catch-up” deferral if you are over age 50. To do this, make a contribution plan and stick to a schedule of putting money in over installments, rather than a rushed contribution at the end of the year. In another vein, are you in a position to take advantage of a Roth IRA conversion? Finally, consider rebalancing your portfolio.
Resolution #3: Keep a sharp eye on the future, both for planning opportunities and for your target retirement date.
For more information on Estate Tax Planning please visit our website.