We do a blog like this every new year and 2017 is no different. Our Resolve to Get Involved series is designed to enlighten and empower you to take actions that will help you reach your retirement planning goals. And believe us, we know—it’s not easy. However, just like a new year encourages millions of us to make resolutions to achieve better health and other goals, achieving the retirement income of your dreams is just as important. So, put it on your list of resolutions.
Why is Advanta IRA so serious about saving for retirement? Well, believe it or not—it’s not just because we are a self-directed retirement plan administrator. We are also real people with real problems, consumers with busy lives and children and aging parents, worried about education and health and a slew of other things that sometimes keep us all up at night.
And, did we mention aging parents? Parents either in or nearing retirement age who have worries and health issues and real world problems of their own. The baby boomers—that retirement planning did a bait and switch on midstream thanks to the decline of pension plans and other workplace retirement plans and that lovely Great Recession. What’s more—generations under them are no better prepared.
According to the TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies:
- Two-thirds of baby boomers plan to work past the age of 65 or don’t plan to retire at all; the median total household retirement savings for baby boomers overall is about $147,000.
- Of the generation x-ers, only 12% are confident they’ll be able to fully retire in comfort; this generation reports a median total household retirement savings of $69,000.
However, we start to see an upward trend in the millenial generation. (Let’s hope this continues.) The same report states 72 percent of the younger generation have already begun saving for retirement, and they (smartly) started doing so at the median age of 22 years old. Not only do millenials seem to be ahead of the game, 75 percent of them also desire more information on how to reach their goals for retirement. (If you’re a stat geek, find more of them here.)
That’s where this year’s resolve to get involved in your retirement planning ideas come in. No matter your age, if you aren’t already you should begin saving for retirement. Like, right NOW. And, here’s how.
Does your employer offer retirement benefits?
Take advantage of that. (Do it today).
Open an individual retirement plan.
There are several to choose from to fit your needs whether you work for someone else or if you’re self-employed. Any retirement plan is in itself a plan (of action) and will hopefully drive you to contribute all your extra dollars and cents to build income for your golden years.
You should be informed on the investments in your retirement plan.
Are they knocking back a comfortable return for you? No? Well, get rid of them. There are plenty more out there that may perform better.
Take a hard look at Wall Street.
The stock market is absolutely rocking right now, thanks to the Trump Bump. If you aren’t already investing in this arena, now may be the time for you to consult a financial advisor and add some of the more well performing options to your plan.
Then, take a right (or a left) off of Wall Street!
Explore alternative investments to diversify your portfolio and increase your earning potential. Examples include real estate, private mortgages, private equity, precious metals, and so much more that we can’t even list them all here.
A good balance of both traditional and non-traditional assets is always a suggested goal to set.
Ask your financial advisor to help. The asset-spread percentages vary depending on your situation and comfort zone, and they can be complicated to figure out alone.
Is your current plan is housed by a mainstream broker who won’t allow you to explore investments that they don’t sell?
Well, guess what—you’ve got other options here, too. Go open yourself a self-directed retirement plan and take control of your own investing funds and decisions. Self-direction gives you the freedom to invest in a large pool of alternative assets, which add diversity to your portfolio and can help you reach the retirement of your dreams.
Regardless of how late you may be to the retirement savings party, it’s never too late to start saving now. Or to shake up your current plan and make some strategic moves that can make a big difference in retiring comfortably in your golden years.