You spent a long time creating an investment plan to increase your likelihood for a successful retirement. Because your money is invested in real world markets, there will naturally be some change and flux over time. Some of your goals will shift as you approach them too, giving you another reason to monitor and adjust your finances as time goes on. Make sure all your planning and dreaming counts for something, by staying on top of your finances as you move into retirement.
Take the first step
As a first step, you can create a personal balance sheet. You can make a simple one by adding up your assets and subtracting your liabilities to determine your net worth. When you’re preparing it, separate your investments into stocks, bonds and cash - understanding your personal asset allocation will help you organize your finances and monitor them better. It’s crucial to update your balance sheet every year to keep tabs on the performance of your investments, see if your financial strategy is on track and make adjustments as necessary.
Measure your results
Determining whether your net worth has increased from year to year is easy. But when you’re measuring your results, you’ll need to go a step further to determine how well you’re doing relative to the market. Your portfolio requires routine monitoring which can be time consuming. You may want to think about consulting a financial advisor to help as you take stock of your investments relative to the performance of the market – their knowledge and experience can make the task that much easier.
If you’re happy with your financial state of affairs, just keep on trucking and remember to monitor your investments on a regular basis. If you feel something could be better, you’ll naturally want to do something to try and improve it. This could include choosing different funds to invest in, changing your asset allocation to better meet your current needs and goals, or inviting your financial advisor to take a more active role in assisting you.
Doing it for life
Taking stock of where you are financially is much more than simply looking at the performance of your investments. It's a holistic view of your spending and saving habits, debt management, tax planning, gifting and more - all within the ever-changing context of the world’s financial markets. Although it’s not exactly easy to do, if you can make a lifelong habit of it, you could reap the rewards in the end. As always, one of our financial professionals will be happy to help.
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