1. Building a comprehensive financial plan
You might be participating in your 401(k) at work and actively saving for retirement. But that's not a complete financial plan, and it may not leave you with enough of a nest egg to fund for your retirement.
While contributing to a 401(k) plan is a good start, a better strategy is to expand on that by building a plan that gives you clarity on your financial goals, a way to organize your finances, and provides clear action steps to make progress toward achieving them.
"Creating a financial plan helps you see the big picture and set long and short-term life goals, a crucial step in mapping out your financial future," explains the CFP Board, the certifying and governing body for professional financial planners.1 "When you have a financial plan, it's easier to make financial decisions and stay on track to meet your goals."
2. Creating a smart investment strategy
A smart investment strategy is one that will help you reach your long-term goals without causing you to risk losing big chunks of your wealth along the way. To manage those risks while still seeing significant growth in your assets, a financial advisor can help you to understand your risk tolerance and then design your portfolio accordingly.
A financial advisor can also help you diversify your investments. "A properly diversified portfolio can help investors avoid taking a hit when the market turns," reports US News. "Diversification doesn't mean buying 100 stocks in a certain sector, but rather creating a mix of assets with low correlation."2
By holding a mix of assets in your portfolio, your wealth isn't solely tied to the performance of a single stock or asset class. Diversification is also a good strategy to use to help you weather market volatility — that is, the dramatic changes that can impact the value of stocks in the short-term.
A word of caution, although diversification does not guarantee a profit or eliminate the possibility of losing value, building a portfolio with a wide variety of asset types is a smart strategy.
3. Planning for your long-term retirement planning needs
As you approach retirement, you need to take a look at protections you can put in place to safeguard the wealth you worked to build over your career. Those safety nets might include creating an estate plan that clearly lays out how you'd like to distribute your wealth once you pass away and ensuring that all your assets and accounts have designated beneficiaries. You might also want to consider how you'll pay for healthcare and additional needs as you age. Ellen Stark, former editor of MONEY, explains long-term care insurance (LTC) can be an option.3
While LTC isn't always necessary, you do need a plan. Stark suggests a few alternatives: "If your assets are few, you may eventually be able to cover LTC costs via Medicaid, available only if you're impoverished; if you have lots of money saved, you likely can pay for future care out of pocket." But paying out of pocket could deplete your savings rapidly, which is why it's important to review all your options with a financial expert.
No matter what your situation, you need to think about retirement planning from the beginning to the end — and address the potential challenges you may face along the way. Navigating these topics on your own isn't easy, though, and trying to DIY can leave you vulnerable to your own blind spots, causing you to make mistakes without realizing it.
An experienced financial advisor can partner with you to develop comprehensive, customized solutions based on your unique financial priorities. When you're ready to enjoy the peace of mind and confidence that comes from working with an expert, Synovus is here to help.