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Conduct an annual financial review

Key Points

  • Once a year, conduct a financial review of your retirement accounts and asset allocation
  • Adjust for new income sources, investment outcomes or family changes
  • Be aware of significant milestones as you approach retirement

Financial planning is a comprehensive, ongoing approach to managing all areas of your financial life.

As you plan for retirement, your focus is most likely on saving. But once you retire, your focus typically shifts from saving to generating income from your savings, planning for health care costs and making savings last.

An annual financial review gives you a chance to evaluate your financial position

Many changes can affect your investments during the course of a year. It's important to monitor your retirement and investment accounts regularly and make adjustments annually to stay on track.

  • Your asset allocation could be off balance. Over time, different assets may grow at different paces. For example, what started as a 50/50 allocation between stocks and bonds may now be 45/55.
  • You may be less diversified than you think. If the value of one of your assets grows substantially, it may make up a large portion of your portfolio, reducing your level of diversification and increasing your risk.
  • Your needs have changed. Even if your portfolio has remained the same, your situation may have changed. Your income may have increased or decreased, your retirement plans may have changed, or your portfolio may need modification.
  • You are subject to new rules. Changes in tax laws could affect your portfolio for better or worse. For example, capital gains rates or holding periods could rise or fall, or retirement plan contribution rules could shift.

Your annual financial review checklist: What to look for

  • Reduced tolerance for risk. If you've recently retired, you may need a new strategy to help maximize your retirement income. Your risk tolerance may change at this time, which would affect your asset allocation.
  • Income changes. You may have started to receive Social Security payments or Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from retirement accounts. If so, you may need to make adjustments to the accounts that are currently providing income.
  • Investment outcomes. Results that are significantly different than expected can reduce the effectiveness of your plan. Recognizing these changes gives you the opportunity to make necessary adjustments.
  • Changes in your personal or family situation. You may have recently lost a spouse or domestic partner, had grandchildren or moved to a different state, all of which can impact your financial plan.

Are you getting the financial advice you need?

Our advisors make it easy to have a preliminary complimentary conversation about your financial goals and priorities, and for you to see what it’s like to work with us.

Financial checkpoints

While it's a good idea to review your financial plan regularly, these checkpoints may benefit from a comprehensive check-in.


You're eligible to make catch-up contributions to IRAs, 401(k)s and other retirement plans.

55 years old

You can begin taking withdrawals without penalty from qualified retirement plans such as a 401(k)s, 403(b)s and profit sharing plans, if you have left your job in the year you turned 55 or older. Note: Does not apply to IRAs

59 1/2 years old

You can start taking withdrawals without penalty from IRAs or from qualified retirement plans. Some retirement plans may allow in-service distributions at age 59 ½. Note: 457(b) plans have no penalty.

62 years old

You're eligible for collecting partial Social Security retirement benefits; also eligible for a reverse mortgage.

66-67 years old

You're eligible for full Social Security benefits according to your birthday or wait up to age 70 to qualify for delayed retirement benefits.

70 1/2 years old

Generally, you must begin taking Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from IRAs, 401(k)s and other retirement plans.

An Ameriprise financial advisor can develop or review your financial plan and help make necessary adjustments to help you meet your goals in retirement.

Neither diversification nor asset allocation assures a profit or protects against loss in declining markets.
Ameriprise Financial, Inc. and its affiliates do not offer tax or legal advice. Consumers should consult with their tax advisor or attorney regarding their specific situation.
Investment advisory products and services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC, a registered investment adviser. 
Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. Member FINRA and SIPC.