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How to get advice on your retirement plan

If you dust off your finances at year-end to take stock of your financial position, your workplace retirement plan will probably be among the first places you’ll look. If you’re like most working Americans, your employer plan is your primary retirement savings vehicle. Yet it’s up to you to plan, manage and make changes.

Thirty years ago, most workers retired with a traditional pension plan. Employers managed everything. Employees made no decisions, but retired with a set amount of money. The rise of 403(b) and 401(k) retirement plans in the 1980s and 1990s shifted responsibility from employers to employees. As an employee with an employer-sponsored retirement plan, it’s up to you to make decisions — how to invest (stocks vs. bonds, etc.), how much to contribute and how often to review and adjust your account.

Many workers feel they don’t have the time, interest or expertise to manage their accounts. Where can you get help and advice for your 403(b) plan? Here are a few options:

Your retirement plan provider.

More than half of retirement plan providers — including GuideStone — provide investment advice to their participants. While it’s not unusual for providers to charge a fee for this type of service, some, including GuideStone, offer online or phone advice at no charge.

A financial adviser, planner or broker.

Many full-service brokers and financial planners will advise investors on their workplace retirement plans – usually for a fee. Fees and services vary widely. Brokers/planners can be employed by insurance companies, banks, large investment companies, tax firms – or can work independently.

A single investment fund.

As a possible alternate to advice, target date funds are now the fastest-growing investment options in 403(b) and 401(k) plans for employees who have little time or interest in managing their own investments. The concept is simple: Pick the fund with a date in its name that corresponds to your expected retirement year and funnel your savings into that one fund. The fund will automatically change the investment mix of stocks, bonds and cash over time to grow more conservative as you near and move through retirement. A similar investment choice is an asset allocation fund, i.e., a fund managed to a “risk” style. Asset allocation funds can vary from conservative (mostly bonds and money market funds) to balanced (a mixture of stock and bond funds) to aggressive (all stock funds). Unlike target date funds, asset allocation funds do not adjust over time. With both target date and asset allocation funds it is a good idea to periodically review your investments and make sure they are still suitable.

To learn more about GuideStone’s investment advice service, GPS: Guided Planning Services®*, and for a sample of the type of advice you will receive, log in to MyGuideStone™. You can also learn more about GuideStone’s five MyDestination Funds® and four Asset Allocation funds.


*Financial advice provided by GuideStone Advisors, a controlled-affiliate of GuideStone Financial Resources.

You should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the funds before investing. For a copy of the prospectus with this and other information about the funds, call 1-888-98-GUIDE (1-888-984-8433) or view or download a prospectus. You should read the prospectus carefully before investing.

GuideStone Funds, a controlled-affiliate of GuideStone Financial Resources, are made available by GuideStone Financial Services, member FINRA.

Shares of GuideStone Funds are distributed by BNY Mellon Distributors Inc., 760 Moore Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406.

The MyDestination Funds® (“Funds”) attempt to achieve their objectives by investing in the GuideStone Select Funds and other investments. The Funds are managed to a retirement date (“target date”) by adjusting the percentage of fixed income securities and equity securities to become more conservative each year until reaching the retirement year and then approximately 12 years thereafter. The target date in the name of the Funds is the approximate date when an investor plans to start withdrawing money. The expense ratio for the fund includes the expenses of the underlying funds. The principal risks of the Funds will change depending on the asset mix of the Select Funds in which they invest. You may directly invest in the Select Funds and other investments. The Funds’ value will go up and down in response to changes in the share prices of the investments that they own. The amount invested in the Funds are not guaranteed to increase, are not guaranteed against loss, nor is the amount of the original investment guaranteed at the target date. It is possible to lose money by investing in the Funds.

The Asset Allocation Funds (“Funds”) attempt to achieve their objectives by investing in the GuideStone Select Funds. By investing in the Funds you will also incur the expenses and risks of the underlying Select Funds. The principal risks of the Funds will change depending on the asset mix of the Select Funds in which they invest. You may directly invest in the Select Funds. The Funds’ value will go up and down in response to changes in the share prices of the investments that they own. It is possible to lose money by investing in the Funds.