Starting a new job is typically a busy time, but you don’t want to miss the opportunity to advance your finances along with your career. As I recently stepped into a new role of my own here at Lincoln, I feel especially passionate about what today’s retirement plan participants should be considering when they switch jobs.
Every day, my team helps people who have recently started new jobs set themselves up for the retirement they envision. A new job is a new beginning, in many ways – different routines, colleagues, company cultures. But it also means new workplace benefits and maybe even a higher wage or salary. Now is the perfect time to use these to your advantage!
Here are five ways you can strengthen your retirement savings after you make after a job change:
- Enroll in your new employer’s retirement savings plan. As soon as you are able to, enroll in your company’s retirement plan. Enrolling right away will ensure that you don’t miss out on your employer’s match before auto enrollment starts.
- Consider rolling over your old retirement plan to your new plan. There are several options for your old retirement plan when you start a new job. One option is to move your balance to your new plan. This makes your retirement account easy to access and you can track your investments all in one place.
- Adjust your retirement contributions. According to Lincoln Financial Group’s 2019 Retirement Power® Participant Study, 49% of those who started a new job last year increased their retirement plan contribution and 29% said their new job motivated the change. Whether you’re just starting to contribute or only making a slight adjustment, it can add up over time with compound interest.
- Take a holistic view of your finances. When planning for retirement, savers should start with an accurate snapshot of where they are now, so they can set achievable retirement goals. A good place to start is with a financial wellness program, which your new employer may offer. These tools help savers create a personalized action plan and improve their financial well-being — whether they are creating a budget, building an emergency fund or paying down debt — and achieve their goals. Goal-setting itself is a key starting point. Those who set a specific retirement goal are three times more likely to contribute 15% or more to their plan, according to the Lincoln study.
- Talk to a Financial Professional. Lincoln’s Retirement Power® research showed that 51% of retirement plan participants would like professional help choosing investments in their plan. If your employer offers an on-site retirement consultant, they can help answer your questions, as well as review tax withholdings, consolidate retirement accounts, and other issues. If you don’t have access to a retirement consultant at work, consider meeting with an independent financial professional who can provide advice tailored to your specific situation.
It’s never too late to put these tips into action. Whether you are just starting out or more seasoned in your career, the key is to make your retirement a priority.