retirement

Ways Your Employer Can Help You Plan for Retirement

Overwhelmed by your impending retirement? Your employer may be able to assist with the transition.

Daunted by all the retirement decisions? Some employers bring retirement advice to the workplace. Several years ago, Barbara Linnehan-Smith, a teacher in Portland, Maine, began attending retirement seminars offered through her union to learn about her pension formula, Social Security eligibility and retiree health insurance. Although Linnehan-Smith, 61, has no immediate plans to retire, "it was really important to get a feel for the whole process," she says.

Your company 401(k) plan may also be a source of help. Increasingly, plans offer online tools and one-on-one phone conversations with financial planners to deal with everything from Social Security strategies to retirement spending to asset allocation. “It’s a concierge service to help you navigate the process,” says Rob Austin, director of retirement research at Aon Hewitt, a human resources firm.

Some will even set up a retirement paycheck for you. Almost half of employers in a recent Aon survey allow 401(k) participants to choose an automatic payment from the plan in retirement, and 30% offer a professionally managed account with a drawdown feature. Another 9% offer a managed payout fund, which uses a withdrawal strategy designed to produce lifelong paychecks (but without the guarantee of an annuity).

If you’re deciding between leaving your money in the plan and rolling it over, you’ll have to weigh the costs, services and convenience of your 401(k) against the flexibility and wider range of investment choices in an IRA. Keep in mind that large plans have access to institutional pricing, which means lower fees. “If your 401(k) happens to be reasonably priced and gets the job done, by all means, keep the money there,” says Michael Kitces, a partner and director of wealth management at Pinnacle Advisory Group.

Most Popular

Dying Careers You May Want to Steer Clear Of
careers

Dying Careers You May Want to Steer Clear Of

It’s tough to change, but your job could depend on it. Be flexible in your career goals – and talk with your kids about their own aspirations, because…
September 13, 2021
5 Top Dividend Aristocrats to Beef Up Your Portfolio
dividend stocks

5 Top Dividend Aristocrats to Beef Up Your Portfolio

The 65-member Dividend Aristocrats are among the market's best sources of reliable, predictable income. But these five stand out as truly elite.
September 14, 2021
7 Best Commodity Stocks to Play the Coming Boom
commodities

7 Best Commodity Stocks to Play the Coming Boom

These seven commodity stocks are poised to take advantage of a unique confluence of events. Just mind the volatility.
September 8, 2021

Recommended

The Time to Start Your Holiday Shopping Is Right Now
Making Your Money Last

The Time to Start Your Holiday Shopping Is Right Now

Shortages of the popular toys and gifts due to logistical delays could be massive this holiday shopping season. Expecting guests? Toilet paper towels,…
September 28, 2021
The Forces Shaping Retirement in the 2020s
Coronavirus and Your Money

The Forces Shaping Retirement in the 2020s

Gone are the days of retiring with a pension and gold watch. What retirement means has changed significantly and not always for the better.
September 28, 2021
Hidden Fees, Unintentional Wealth Transfers and Other Lurking Retirement Hazards
Making Your Money Last

Hidden Fees, Unintentional Wealth Transfers and Other Lurking Retirement Hazards

A secure retirement is a happy retirement. Here are three things you can do to improve your odds that your golden years will be bountiful and worry-fr…
September 28, 2021
12 Things You Must Know About Claiming and Maximizing Your Social Security Benefits
Basics

12 Things You Must Know About Claiming and Maximizing Your Social Security Benefits

Claiming Social Security benefits at the right time means more money in your pocket. Here's a guide to everything from knowing your full retirement ag…
September 27, 2021