February money tip: Plan for retirement

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Whether you are 20 or 60, it makes sense to set aside some time each year to think about the future.

Check your social security records.  Believe it or not, the government makes mistakes.  Social security records your earnings each year, and these records are what will be used in the future to calculate your benefits.  It’s important that they be right. Go to http://www.ssa.gov/ and set up an account.  After you’ve answered some questions, you’ll be able to log in and check your earnings records.

Of course, social security will not be enough to live in when you retire, so it’s also important to set aside some money yourself.  It doesn’t really matter how much you save – its more important to get started.  Even if it’s only $10 a week, you’ll have $50 at the end of the year.

Those of you who are already saving, should take a look at your portfolio to determine how it should be invested.  Schwab has a free tool that can help you determine how much of your investment should be in stocks vs bonds vs cash.  If you’ve already determined your mix, take a look to see if your portfolio needs to be re-balanced – the run up of the stock market over the past year may have left you too heavily weighted in stocks.

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