The Importance of Updating Beneficiaries on your Retirement Accounts


Above all, there’s no better time than the present. Therefore, keep your beneficiaries, both primary and contingent, up to date. Surely it matters, so your wishes in regard to who should receive your money are carried out. Now let’s talk about updating the beneficiaries on your retirement accounts.


Best Practices

Often, it’s best practice to retain your own copy of beneficiary documentation, in the event your retirement account provider is unable to locate the document upon your death. Despite the advances in technology and recordkeeping, paper copies can still disappear.

Opposite, avoid having someone else decide who receives your retirement account. In the meantime, it’s a good idea to periodically review beneficiary information and update as necessary.

Retirement Plan Beneficiaries

When to Update Beneficiary Designations

Namely, some examples of when you need to update your retirement account beneficiary designations include:

  • When a spouse or family member dies
  • Divorce
  • Marriage
  • An overall change in one’s family situation
  • Financial or tax status changes

However, these are not the only times you should adjust and review your documents. In reality, this is your life, your legacy. Thus, you must stay on top of your future plans – even beyond your own mortality.

As a rule, check and update much more often than you deem necessary. Also, ask a trusted financial advisor or wealth management professional for assistance. Furthermore, discuss your money matters with those whom you have no emotional attachment.

Particularly, this may be the largest check your beneficiaries will ever receive. As a result of this, there is a lot of planning to be done. Additionally, call St. Croix Advisors at (651) 337-1919 or (877) 393-1919 or email at for help with your retirement accounts.

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Ask yourself- can my portfolio support my lifestyle in my retirement? 

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