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Managing your investments is a lifelong process. The amount of money you invest and the type of investments you choose can ebb and flow as your situation changes. And when you experience a major event, such as a marriage, a divorce, or the loss of an income source, you may want to review your investments and make adjustments. Consider what those changes may be based on the events listed below.
Getting married may have a major impact on your investment strategy, as everyone has his or her own investment personality. While you might be comfortable making investment decisions on your own, your spouse may prefer to work with a financial advisor. As a couple, you’ll need to find a middle ground you can both agree upon as you determine important financial goals together, such as buying a house and starting a family.
The arrival of a child is the perfect time to begin a college fund, such as a 529 plan. Making even modest contributions early on can compound and grow your child’s education fund for use later in life.
The loss of a job can have a sharp impact on your cash flow. As you review your expenses with a critical eye, look at where you can cut back. If you have to trim or freeze your retirement plan contributions, remember to resume those contributions as soon as you can. Consider building an emergency or rainy-day fund to cover three to six months of expenses to protect you from such unexpected events. If you transfer jobs, consider rolling over your 401(k) balance into an IRA or to your new employer’s plan.
Divorce can be a major financial blow for both parties involved. Carefully research the steps you need to take when it comes to splitting up assets. For example, will you need a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to split up ownership of a retirement plan or pension? Once the divorce is finalized and the assets have been dispersed, you’ll need to recreate your financial plan. You may find that you have to adjust your investment strategy to allow for the loss of one income and half of your retirement plan. Please note that Wells Fargo does not offer legal advice.
The shift from asset accumulation to withdrawal may be the biggest financial change you’ll face. Look closely at your life expectancy, expenses, and income; budget carefully; and set up a system where you’ll monitor your rate of account withdrawal so that you don’t outlive your money. Do thorough annual reviews, and be ready to make adjustments as needed. Taper your exposure to risk gradually as you approach your target retirement date.
If you keep a keen eye on your investments as your life changes, you can better prepare yourself for the events to come.
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This information is provided for educational and illustrative purposes only.
Wells Fargo Wealth Management provides products and services through Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., and its various affiliates and subsidiaries.
Investing in fixed income securities involves certain risks such as market risk if sold prior to maturity and credit risk especially of investing in high yield bonds, which have lower ratings and are subject to greater volatility. All fixed income investments may be worth less than original costs upon redemption or maturity.
Variable annuities are long-term investments suitable for retirement funding and are subject to market fluctuations and investment risks.