Broker Check

Yellow Post-IT

By Jeff Runyan

TO-DO LISTS SCRIBBLED ON POST-IT NOTES CAN BE THE BACKBONE OF A CONSTRUCTIVE AND PRODUCTIVE WORKDAY. Many successful retirees and those still in the workforce may recall or relate to building business one day at a time by tackling their list to accomplish goals ranging from work and family to retirement and everything in between.


+ Increase 401K contributions!

+ Make tax-deductible IRA contribution before the 15th

+ Request pension payout options

+ Use the retirement calculator and see how much I’ll need in retirement.

As you crossed off these tasks from your yellow Post-it Notes over the course of years, you may have thought in your final week at the office—"I’ve made it!" That final day is followed with fond farewells to colleagues, a retirement party with friends and family, and ultimately, a possible Rollover IRA evidencing years of hard work and discipline.

However, the reality is, retirement isn’t a box that you check. Just like living a healthy lifestyle isn’t a one-time decision to order a salad. A healthy lifestyle requires effort and daily decision making on a perpetual basis. It requires recognizing when you're out of balance—too many sweets during holidays, having a deficiency of certain nutrients or simply needing to drink more water to stay healthy and hydrated. Your investment portfolio and retirement work the same way. Retirement is a living, breathing, evolving state that thrives in an environment where your best outcomes can be achieved when attention is given and balance is secured, helping achieve the very goals you once set out to accomplish.

This ongoing attention includes reviewing the investment portfolio to make sure you have an allocation between stocks and bonds that fits best for your needs now. It’s recognition that for a retiree, your earning years are largely behind you, making it challenging to recover a nest egg if the market were to make meaningful declines. It’s being able to enjoy the simple pleasures of retirement without depleting your savings too quickly.

If you’re younger or a pre-retiree, you might consider maximizing your plan—which means first and foremost having a plan, identifying what you want, when you want it and exercising the discipline to achieve it. Are you contributing enough to your 401k or only participating for an employer match? Are you using a 529 College Savings plan to help offset expenses related to sending your kids to college? How about exploring CA Tax Exempt bonds in an environment when income tax laws are changing?

You may no longer work day to day from the famously yellow Post-it Notes list, but it’s a great idea, as we flutter near all-time market highs, that you include on your to-do list a reminder to revisit your goals and strategy. Ask yourself or the professional you work with what you own, why you own it and if the positions are aligned to help you meet those goals. The economic landscape is always shifting, interest rates are rising, oil prices have been climbing, and the market is shifting to reflect those variables. The question is: Are you?

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