10 commandments of retirement planning

VIII. You shall set goals
9 of 12
VIII. You shall set goals

To stay on track for retirement, set goals within your financial plan.

"As you're putting money away, it's hard to say I want my money to grow by 'X' amount because you don't know what the market is going to do," says Kuhn. "But you can take it in five-year increments -- in five years I'd like it to be worth 'X,' in another five years I'd like it to be this."

Monitoring annual returns will let you know if your investments meet the overarching goals laid out in the financial plan.

"If their financial plan says they need a 5 percent return, they have no business being in something that is going to give them the chance for 30 percent returns," Rosenthal says.

"Maybe a portion, but they need to monitor their portfolio to make sure it is on pace to their financial plan," he says. "The market is not the barometer. Their plan is the barometer. Are they consistently staying on pace with their financial goals on an after-tax basis?"




Show Bankrate's community sharing policy

Connect with us