The other day I was driving my car and noticed it started pulling to the right. I brought it in to the dealership and they told me it was nothing serious. It just needed an alignment, but if I didn’t have it corrected it could lead to more issues. Not to mention safety concerns.

Anyway, the alignment got me thinking about investing. There are 401k Planninglots of people out there who say, “Don’t buy an annuity,” or, “Don’t invest in the market,” or, “Don’t buy a mutual fund.” I think this sends the wrong message to the public because none of those investment vehicles are inherently bad.

The point is that your retirement planning and investment strategies need to be aligned with your personal situation and the goal of your plan. I believe that getting an investment planning alignment is critical but it seems that getting your car aligned might be a more common occurrence for many people.

The problem is that you might not be as aware of the warning signs of needing an alignment within your portfolio as you are with your vehicle. In your car, you will most likely feel the tug on the wheel to one side or maybe a keen service person will notice that your tires are wearing away faster on one side.

Are there warning signs for your investments that may be telling you that your situation and goals are not in line with your current plan? The answer is yes, but most people don’t know how to interpret the information.

We all learn that preventative maintenance is always a good idea to extend the life of just about everything, and we know from experience the same is true of your retirement plans and goals.