Articles by Kelly Ruggles Back to Article Main Page
Investor Behavior and the Brass Ring
The average investor has at last learned the basic principles of managing a retirement portfolio, but getting him or her to actually put that knowledge into action is continually a daunting task.
According to a study commissioned by Charles Schwab, three out of four 401(k) plan holders know they should review their accounts at least twice a year, but almost half fail to follow through.
And, while the horror of watching Enron's pension funds collapse has taught the investor about the word "diversification," only 25% have taken active steps toward a more balanced portfolio. It also seems that investors may not fully understand how "diversification" can in fact help protect their portfolio against worst-case scenarios. A retirement account, like any other account can't be left on autopilot and still be expected to perform safely.
Two of the most important questions you can ask yourself prior to retiring are:
1. What do I want to do when I retire? Whether it is golfing, traveling, working part-time, or not working at all, if you have some idea of what you intend to do to fill your time, it will help to alleviate part of the mental anguish.
2. Can I afford to retire? This question can be looked at a number of different ways. More than likely, if you plan on picking up an activity i.e., golf, traveling, gardening, etc., each of these items will cost you. Can you afford that additional expense? The more important question should be, “Can I retire and have enough money coming in from my retirement to keep the standard of living I have become accustomed to?”
Believe it or not, we see it happen over and over again. All too often, we see clients who did not prepare ahead of time, who have a tough pill to swallow when they realize they won't have enough money to support them when it's time to retire and they are forced to continue working well beyond what they had planned on.
When would you like to retire? Furthermore, can you afford it? If you can't answer the second question, please make an appointment with your financial advisor before it's too late.