4 Ways a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Can Help With 401(k) Elections

 Everyone knows that it pays to save. In 2011, 50% of private sector workers had access to an employer plan [Source: Investment Company Institute]. While the decisions must be elected within an employer plan, an outside professional may be needed to help you meet your future financial goals.

Four ways a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ can help you navigate your decisions.

  1. Analyze your savings needs in light of your overall financial picture: CFP® professionals are trained to analyze a family’s overall financial needs and determine the appropriate actions to reach financial goals. For many families, assistance with retirement planning decisions may be the most critical and valued advice a financial planner can give. Once you’ve established a plan, it’s appropriate to update and modify the plan regularly based upon changing circumstances – for our clients, we do an annual update to the financial plan.
  2. Recommend investment mix: Investment professionals can make recommendations for an appropriate mix of investments within your retirement plan. Again, a periodic review of the investment selections is appropriate to make sure that there is no need for change.
  3. Incorporate the retirement plan investments into your overall investment portfolio: For many of us, defined contribution plans like 401(k)’s are the biggest component of your investable net worth. When you integrate retirement assets into an overall investment portfolio you can avoid duplicating investments, you can maintain a holistic view, and you can use a tax-deferred vehicle to harbor less tax-efficient investments.
  4. Consider complex retirement strategies: A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ can integrate and evaluate options between a Roth 401(k) or regular 401(k), show you the advantages and disadvantages of a Net Unrealized Appreciation strategy for company stock, and integrating multiple retirement sources in retirement assumptions such as stock options, pension plans, or profit-sharing plans.

Melissa Joy, CFP® is Partner and Director of Investments at Center for Financial Planning, Inc. In 2011, she was honored by Financial Advisor magazine in the inaugural Research All Star List*. In addition to her frequent contributions to Money Centered blogs, she writes frequent investment updates at The Center and is regularly quoted in national media publications including The Chicago Tribune, Investment News, and Morningstar Advisor.


*Award was based on job function of the person evaluated, fund selections and evaluation process used, study of rejected fund examples, and the evaluation of challenges faced in the job and actions taken to overcome those challenges.  Evaluations were independently conducted by Financial Advisor Magazine.

The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. Any opinions are those of Center for Financial Planning, Inc., and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James.