Graduated Learning: Life after College

Personal Finance, Parenting, and a dash of Science

Paying attention to my retirement accounts May 4, 2010

Filed under: Personal Finance — Stephanie @ 8:23 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

In the past few days, I’ve paid attention to my retirement accounts.  Not sure what came over me, but I’d been debating making some changes, weighing short-term financial plans vs. retirement plans.  So what have I done these past few days?

I examined (and modified) the asset allocation mix of my retirement portfolio.  I have my rollover IRA, Roth IRA, and 401(k) all at Fidelity; with all my accounts with one firm, they could easily show me a nice pie chart of my asset mix.  And it was definitely not what my goal mix was supposed to be!  I am far enough away from retirement that I should have a pretty aggressive portfolio.

When I rolled over my old 401(k) to a rollover IRA, I didn’t really do much with the money.  I invested some of the money in a target fund, and left the rest in “cash”, i.e. a really low returns money market account.  It wasn’t until the other day, when I looked online and realized that my entire portfolio was way too heavy in short-term (i.e. cash) that I knew I had to do something to rebalance my portfolio.  So I used some of the money in “cash” to buy more of the target fund.  I’ll probably buy more of that later.  I figure I can use a little dollar cost averaging to my favor! 😛

I also decided that I might as well contribute more to my 401(k).  I had said that I was going to hold off increasing my contribution amount until I reached a goal amount in my savings accounts.  But then I realized that was kind of a silly plan.  I have enough extra cash in my checking account that I’ll still be able to continue my automatic savings plan even with a reduced net income.  I also realized raising my contribution by just one percent doesn’t really impact my cashflow, and I know that the more I contribute now, the better!  So, as of now, I’m contributing 5%, and getting matched on 4%.  I might be increasing the amount even more in the near future, once I finish doing a few more calculations.

Have you checked on your retirement accounts recently?


5 Responses to “Paying attention to my retirement accounts”

  1. Jenna Says:

    As a recent college graduate, I just started a retirement account, setting one up and contributing for 2009. Going to start contributing for 2010 this summer instead of waiting til the last minute like this year. Got any other suggestions for a newbie?


    • Stephanie Says:

      I think your best bet for now is to look at target date funds or index funds. They usually have pretty low expense ratios, and, from what I heard, that’s a good way to go. I’m not a professional, but those are just some thoughts. Anyone else have input? And Jenna, you have any other questions?


  2. Jenna Says:

    Not right now. Need to do some research on target date funds and index funds. Thanks for your help. Excited to be following your blog now!


  3. […] when I modified my 401(k) contributions?  I upped my contribution by 1%.  A week or two later, I found out about my raise, and then a few […]


  4. […] Retirement (401(k), Roth IRA, Rollover IRA): +$19,053 (thanks to a slight rebound in stock prices and my increased 401(k) contribution) […]


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