The 401 (k) plans of most workers are worth less than they were a year ago. Review this checklist to help you make decisions about the future.
1. If you are just starting to save for retirement, invest a certain amount every month.
2. If your employer matches your contribution, make the highest payment the employer will match.
3. Invest for the long term. Diversify your portfolio between stocks, bonds and low risk investments.
4. Invest in your retirement plan through good times and bad times.
5. Try to save enough money to last for six months of no income.
6. Part-time employment is a good way to lower withdrawals from your retirement savings.
7. Can you turn your 401(k) or other savings such as IRAs or CDs to steady income? Annuities give a steady income. Learn about them.
8. As you near retirement, think about future costs. Develop a list including food, shelter and other basic needs. Make a separate list of things you want, such as vacations and activities.
Two things to help you with your future plans: Try this new calculator: http://www.principal.com/retirement/ind/recovery/index.htm?WT.mc(underscore)idmemainbuild
The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors offers tips for selecting one and offers other tips at: http://www.napfa.org/tips(underscore)tools/index.asp