Plan Audit Support

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by Subject Matter Experts

Updated on July 11, 2023

Are You Retirement Ready?

What Is a Plan Audit Support?

Plan audit support is an essential service in retirement planning because it helps individuals evaluate their retirement strategies and ensures they are on track to achieve their retirement goals.

Plan audit support provides individuals with the necessary tools and guidance to address any issues identified during the audit, such as correcting administrative errors, updating plan documents, or adjusting investment strategies.

Key Components of Plan Audit Support

Key Components of Plan Audit Support

Financial Assessment

Net Worth Analysis

A net worth analysis involves assessing an individual's assets and liabilities to determine their overall financial standing. This analysis helps identify areas of improvement and serves as a starting point for retirement planning.

Income Projections

Estimating future income sources, including pensions, social security benefits, and investment income, is crucial in retirement planning. Accurate income projections enable individuals to make informed decisions regarding savings and investment strategies.

Expense Analysis

Understanding projected expenses in retirement, such as housing, healthcare, and daily living expenses, is essential for developing a comprehensive financial plan. An expense analysis allows individuals to adjust their savings and investment goals accordingly.

Investment Strategy Evaluation

Asset Allocation

A well-balanced investment portfolio is crucial for meeting retirement objectives. Asset allocation involves diversifying investments across different asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, and real estate, to manage risk and optimize returns.

Risk Tolerance

Evaluating an individual's risk tolerance is crucial for developing a suitable investment strategy. This assessment considers factors such as age, financial goals, and investment time horizon to determine an appropriate level of risk.


Diversification involves spreading investments across various sectors, regions, and investment vehicles to reduce portfolio risk. A well-diversified portfolio can help protect against market fluctuations and improve overall returns.

Tax Planning

Tax-Efficient Investment Strategies

Implementing tax-efficient investment strategies can help minimize tax liabilities and increase overall returns. These strategies may include utilizing tax-advantaged accounts, such as IRAs and 401(k)s, and investing in tax-exempt bonds.

Retirement Account Optimization

Optimizing retirement accounts involves maximizing contributions, taking advantage of employer matches, and choosing the most appropriate investment options within the account to meet retirement goals.

Tax Implications of Withdrawals

Understanding the tax implications of withdrawals from various retirement accounts is vital for minimizing tax liabilities and preserving retirement savings.

Retirement Goals and Objectives

Desired Retirement Age

Determining a target retirement age helps individuals develop a realistic savings and investment plan to achieve their goals.

Retirement Lifestyle Preferences

Identifying desired lifestyle preferences, such as travel, hobbies, and housing, helps individuals estimate future expenses and adjust their retirement planning strategies accordingly.

Legacy Planning

Legacy planning involves developing strategies for wealth transfer, estate planning, and philanthropy to ensure a lasting financial legacy for future generations.

Plan Audit Process

Data Collection

Client Questionnaires

Gathering information through client questionnaires helps financial advisors understand an individual's financial situation, goals, and risk tolerance to develop a personalized retirement plan.

Financial Statements

Reviewing financial statements, such as bank statements, investment account statements, and tax documents, provides a comprehensive picture of an individual's financial standing.

Relevant Tax Documents

Evaluating tax documents, such as W-2s, 1099s, and previous tax returns, helps identify potential tax-saving opportunities and inform retirement planning strategies.

Plan Analysis

Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses

A thorough plan analysis involves assessing an individual's current retirement plan to identify areas of strength and opportunities for improvement.

Evaluating Progress Towards Goals

Monitoring progress toward retirement goals helps individuals make adjustments to their savings and investment strategies as needed to ensure they stay on track.

Assessing Risk Exposure

Evaluating the risk exposure of an individual's investment portfolio helps identify areas where adjustments may be necessary to align with their risk tolerance and investment objectives.

Recommendations and Adjustments

Addressing Gaps in the Plan

Based on the plan analysis, financial advisors can provide recommendations to address any gaps or weaknesses in the retirement plan, such as increasing savings or adjusting asset allocation.

Rebalancing Investment Portfolio

Regularly rebalancing the investment portfolio ensures that the asset allocation remains aligned with an individual's risk tolerance and investment goals.

Updating Goals and Objectives as Needed

As life circumstances change, it's crucial to revisit and update retirement goals and objectives to ensure that the retirement plan remains relevant and effective.

Ongoing Plan Audit Support Process

Ongoing Plan Audit Support Process

Regular Reviews

Annual or Semi-Annual Reviews

Conducting regular reviews of the retirement plan helps identify any changes in an individual's financial situation or goals and allows for timely adjustments to the plan.

Life Event-Triggered Reviews

Significant life events, such as marriage, divorce, or job changes, may require a reassessment of the retirement plan to ensure it continues to align with the individual's evolving needs and goals.

Monitoring and Reporting

Performance Tracking

Tracking the performance of investments and comparing them to established benchmarks helps gauge the effectiveness of the retirement plan and informs any necessary adjustments.

Benchmark Comparisons

Comparing the performance of an individual's investments to relevant benchmarks provides valuable insights into the plan's effectiveness and the need for potential adjustments.

Client Communication

Maintaining open communication with clients ensures they remain informed about their retirement plan's progress and can make informed decisions about adjustments or updates as needed.

Continual Plan Optimization

Adapting to Changing Market Conditions

As market conditions change, it's crucial to adjust investment strategies to mitigate risks and capitalize on opportunities.

Revisiting Goals and Objectives

Regularly revisiting and updating retirement goals and objectives ensures that the plan remains relevant and aligned with an individual's evolving needs and circumstances.

Adjusting Strategies as Needed

As the retirement plan progresses, it may be necessary to adjust savings and investment strategies to ensure the plan remains on track to achieve its goals.

Bottom Line

Plan Audit Support is a vital component in ensuring a successful retirement planning process.

It encompasses a thorough assessment of an individual's financial situation, investment strategies, tax planning, and progress toward their retirement objectives.

By engaging in regular evaluations and adjustments, individuals can identify areas for improvement, optimize their investment portfolios, and adapt to changing market conditions.

Additionally, ongoing Plan Audit Support provides essential monitoring, reporting, and communication to keep individuals informed about their plan's progress and enable them to make necessary updates.

By utilizing professional Plan Audit Support services, individuals can effectively optimize their retirement plans and secure a financially comfortable future.

Plan Audit Support FAQs

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website, view his author profile on Amazon, or check out his speaker profile on the CFA Institute website.

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