Planning for your retirement can sometimes feel like a complicated process, especially if you've changed jobs often over the years. If you've started a retirement plan with one company and then started again with another company, it can eventually become very confusing to keep them all straight. So, if you're like most Americans, you probably have several different plans set aside for your future; a 401k, 403b, an IRA and possibly a few more. If that's the case, it may be time for you to take your principal retirement funds from each of your plans and consolidate them. It will save you both time and money if you do.

How It Can Save You Money

When you hold on to multiple principal retirement funds, you will inevitably end up paying more for managing the separate accounts. Each account will come with its own share of management fees so by consolidating you can cut those costs to one fee rather than several.

Create a More Consistent Investment Strategy

Having one plan also means that you are more in control over how your money is being invested. You'll be better able to see what is happening with your investment choices, make modifications when needed and change directions if you have to. When you have several retirement plans, effective strategizing becomes much more complicated.

Better for You at Payout

When you reach the age of 70 1/2, the government will require you to start receiving payouts from your principal retirement funds. Managing these payouts under a single plan will be much simpler if you don't have to deal with several plans following their own requirements. The single plan approach actually makes sure that everything is working under a single set of guidelines.

Not All Plans Can Be Consolidated

It is important to note that while consolidating is advisable in most cases, every plan you have may not be eligible. So, if you're preparing to take this step you will need to meet with your plan advisor to ensure that the plans that you have in place can be combined together into one. Your financial advisor can also be useful in helping you to develop your own personalized financial strategy in how to best utilize your retirement planning products.

There is more than one way to plan for retirement but they are not ideal for everyone. So before you start with consolidating plans, it is advised that you discuss your personal needs and expectations with a professional retirement planner. Together you can develop your own unique strategy to secure your financial future. As long as you have multiple plans in place, you run the risk of not being able to maximize the benefits you can get for your investment. By carefully strategizing and setting financial goals for your future, you make it possible to capitalize on the benefits that these plans have laid out for you so that when you do reach those retirement years you'll be able to receive the best possible reward for all your years of hard work.