Spruce It Up

How to clean up your retirement portfolio

Pretty much everything could use spring cleaning (even in the middle of summer), and that includes your retirement portfolio. If you’re early in the savings process or even late, it’s a good idea to occasionally give your investments a once-over. If you’re close to retirement and haven’t tightened up your portfolio in a while, here are some things to do.

Narrow It Down

If you have several 401(k) and/or IRAs, now is a good time to consolidate them into one or two spots. This will make it easier to manage the paperwork and allow you to keep a better handle on the accounts. As USA Today notes, narrowing things down is also smart because if you have multiple accounts, there’s a good chance you’re paying high fees somewhere. Those high costs will eat into your retirement savings.

Go Index

You’ll want to recommit to index funds as you near retirement. Index funds are low-cost, tax efficient and don’t require a lot of effort on your part. Steer away from single stocks and toward diversified index funds and your investments will also likely produce a more steady return.

Make Sure You’re Ready

Even with the tightest retirement portfolio, you’ll still need a healthy emergency fund. Make sure you have at least six months of fixed expenses stashed in a high-interest savings account. Do some research to find a good spot for your fund. If there’s a better spot for your money, make the move. Not sure where to start? Try credit unions or online-only banks.

Chris O'Shea

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