Get Started Locating Your Retirement Assets
We’re going to take one step at a time. Let’s start with organizing your retirement assets in your employer accounts. Our first step is to track down employer accounts through current and past employers. I’ve been working for over 30 years and I’ve worked for 5 different employers. So it’s easy to overlook a retirement asset if I’m not organized.
Most of us have a 401k or two but don’t forget about your HSA (Health Spending Account), any pensions and stock options. These are all valuable retirement assets!
Tracking Your Employer Retirement Assets
This step could take you a little while because you might need to dig through old files or call Human Resources for previous employers. Start with your current employer and work backward.
At my current employer, I have a 403b, an HSA and a 457b account. My 403b and 457b accounts are through the same broker and website. I need to track down the company and website for my HSA.
Since I’m going through the effort to track down my retirement assets, I want to make sure that I’m recording the website or phone number, broker, my account number or user ID and any comments. Note your account balance and the date in the Notes field. We’ll use this information later when we build our investment tracker.
Repeat this step over until you have worked through all of your employers.
Storing Employer Retirement Account Information
Create a spreadsheet or capture the information on a sheet of paper. You can also download the FREE Employer Asset Tracker, below.
Once completed, this tracker and information can be kept with your other personal papers. I keep a copy with my will, so my family can easily locate these retirement accounts.
I try to update this information once a year.
Retirement Asset Tracking
To make tracking your assets easier, I’ve created this FREE Employer Asset Tracker for you!
Digging Deeper into your Employer Accounts
There are a couple of accounts where I need to do more research. I have a pension through my first employer… it isn’t very big but it will probably cover my cell phone bill each month. I need to:
- Locate the website or phone number to obtain information about my pension.
- Obtain my account number or user ID.
- Ensure the company has my correct address.
- Add or update my beneficiaries.
- Understand my options and best time to begin taking this pension benefit.
I also have a small annuity through another employer and I’ll need to locate more information by following the steps above.
Employer Retirement Asset Terminology
403b – According to Wikipedia, “In the United States, a 403(b) plan is a U.S. tax-advantaged retirement savings plan available for public education organizations, some non-profit employers, cooperative hospital service organizations, and self-employed ministers in the United States.”
457b – the balance website says; “A 457 plan or 457(b) plan is an employer-sponsored, tax-favored retirement savings account. This type of plan is offered to state and local government employees, including police officers, firefighters, and other civil servants. Some high-paid (or “top hat”) executives at certain nonprofits like hospitals, charities, and unions also get access to 457(b) plans.”
Awesome! You have taken the first step to get organized for your retirement! Next, we’ll track down your other assets that you have to draw on in retirement.
How did this step go? Did you find any assets that you had forgotten about? We’re you able to track everything down? Leave a comment below.