Could 2016 be a game-changer for retirement savers?
David Ramirez, co-founder and chief investment officer of ForUsAll, a 401(k) service firm catering to U.S. businesses, thinks so.
"2016 will begin a golden age for customers of financial advice on retirement plans," Ramirez says.
Ramirez has his reasons. For example, he says the standard for financial advice on retirement plans will shift inexorably toward the consumer. "Efforts by special interest groups to perpetuate the old financial order's position - that conflicted advice is better than no advice - will be rendered moot by existing technology that makes high financial advice standards cost-effective, commercially viable, and available to all," he says. Just look at the fiduciary standards President Obama has put forth in wanting to save Americans " $17 billion of bad investment advice."
Additionally, financial technology will pave the way for conflict-free advice to millions of underserved retirement savers. "This will not only extend affordable 401(k) access to 5.6 million 'small' companies and their 49 million employees, but those 401(k)s will come with a significantly decreased risk of advice from advisors who would put their own interests above those of their clients," Ramirez says.
Consequently, with the retirement service industry in a dynamic, fast-moving state, how can long-term savers latch on to the best changes in early 2016 and implement them in their own retirement plans for the new year?
Start by taking along look at your current plan and looking for key areas for improvement. "A great place to start 2016 is with a retirement calculator to determine how much you will need to have in retirement income to support living expenses," says Todd Senff, managing partner and strategy director at Retirement Loft, in Cornelius, N.C. "For some people it's a good check point to the goal, for others it is a wake up call to get onboard with a retirement plan. The math doesn't lie. Then, find a good planning tool or professional resource to help identify the financial plan to meet your retirement goals. Retirement goals are different for everyone, so set realistic goals that meet your personal retirement goals."