Fall always conjures up of imagery of mornings with pumpkin-spiced lattes, Instagram photo ops of apple picking, and the arrival of comfy sweaters and cardigans. You probably aren’t thinking too, too much about your 401(k) as the seasons change, but this is an excellent time to get your 401(k) fit for fall. How can you get your 401(k) fit for fall?

  1. Pick up my upcoming DIY 401(k) book! In my new book, you’ll get five DIY steps to design and manage your 401(k). Saving for retirement doesn’t need to be difficult any longer. Instead, you’ll have all the essential information, including my own commentary and tips and tricks, on how to start small to build a large net worth and comfortable retirement. You’ll learn how much to save, how to craft a low-cost, diversified portfolio, and how to manage for continued success, among much more. Book is now available on Amazon.
  2. Sign up for your plan’s annual increase program. Your employer may offer an annual increase program you can opt in to. Some plans let you pick a future increase date and percentage at the time you enroll. For example, let’s say your employer’s match is 4 percent, and so you contribute up that amount. Ideally you want to save at least 10-15 percent of your salary per year for retirement. So this Fall, elect to increase that by at least 1 percent more each year every October 1. Clearly, you’ll be at a 10 percent rate automatically after six years—and at 15 percent rate after eleven years—with the firm and benefitting more from compounding as you go.
  3. Assign a beneficiary. So many young adults neglect to assign a beneficiary to their 401(k) account – but it’s an important assignment to make. Do it now to avoid any future legal complications. A beneficiary is someone you choose who would receive all your 401(k) assets in the unfortunate event of your death. You can do this when you set up your account, or you can do so even when enrolled – just search for the page where you can input beneficiary information. Typically, you can select a primary and a contingent beneficiary, and you may be able to split the assets according to whatever percentage you want to bequeath to your beneficiaries. For example, 100% to one beneficiary, or perhaps a 50/50 split to two beneficiaries.

Follow me on Twitter @MatthewKMiller.

Want to learn more? Pick up a copy of my book …

From Millennial to Millionaire: DIY 401(k) – 5 Do-It-Yourself Steps for the Digital Generation to Design and Manage their 401(k) on Amazon.