These have been anxious times. Like many, you may have needed to scale back or even stop retirement savings temporarily to get through. But in the best interest of your ongoing financial well-being, consider these suggestions for protecting your retirement account, as well as your overall financial security.
Have a plan. A financial plan serves much the same purpose as a medical treatment plan—offering prescriptive steps that can help keep you on track with your goals. In your financial life, that may include buying a house, going back to school for an advanced degree or saving for retirement.
If you have a plan, take a moment to see if it needs updating to reflect your current financial situation and any new goals you may have.
Review your investment strategy. If you're just starting your healthcare career, time is on your side. You can take advantage of investments that offer potential for growth over the coming years.
If you're nearing or in retirement, you'll likely want to take a more conservative approach to investing. If you've fallen a bit behind with your savings and are over the age of 50, consider taking advantage of catch-up contributions.
As a healthcare worker and not a financial planning professional, creating or reviewing an investment strategy may not be a straightforward exercise, but help is available to you. TIAA financial consultants can assist you in the selection of investments that align with your goals.
Rebalance your retirement plan account at least annually. Periodic rebalancing helps reset the mix of investments in your retirement plan account back to what you had originally indicated.1 If you have a TIAA account, you can log in to your account and enter "rebalance" in the search field to learn more.
Shore up emergency savings. It's important to have an emergency fund for any unanticipated expenses you need to cover, such as medical bills or home repairs. Try to have enough readily accessible savings set aside to pay at least three to six months of essential bills.
The way forward
While fluctuations in the market may be unsettling, there are tried-and-true ways to manage investment income and risk. It may be hard, but do your best to avoid overreacting to daily market moves. Instead, have confidence in how you're saving and investing because it's based on a well-thought-out financial plan.
You're not alone
As you continue to support others, we're available to help you. A TIAA financial consultant can meet with you virtually or by phone. To schedule a convenient time, call TIAA at 800-732-8353.