Here’s the deal. No one wants to be working straight through what should be their retirement ages. However, many Americans are totally unprepared for retirement and may be doing exactly that. The reasons vary: fear of socking money away (you may need it); not being sure of how to invest (it can be intimidating); not having an employer-sponsored plan (or one that is barely worth having); not knowing exactly what dollar amount is needed to successfully live out retirement dreams; or facing minimal Social Security benefits (join the club).
Regardless of the reason, not saving for retirement presents a problem. Younger generations tend to put off retirement plans, thinking they have plenty of time for that. Yet, as those of this mindset do grow older, a healthy retirement fund may become harder to achieve. But, it doesn’t have to be.
No matter your age … invest, invest, invest!
Yes, you should begin planning for retirement in your 20s to make it easier. Starting early means providing more time for growth, recovery from failures, and instills a sense of necessity and habit of socking away retirement funds on a regular basis. However, no matter what age you begin to become serious about accruing a tidy little nest egg, there are opportunities everywhere that present viable ways to do so. Every little cent matters so do what you can when you can—but start right now.
Consult an accountant or a financial advisor to help determine your retirement income goal. Check out different savings options, including self-directed IRAs. These plans give you control over your retirement funds and decisions, enabling you to invest in what you know best. There are a wide variety of alternative investments permissible in these plans (besides the traditional stock, bond, or mutual fund) that can potentially offer income growth at a faster pace than traditional investments may.
Overcome your fear!
Whether you’re afraid of putting your money in a retirement plan and not being able to touch it without penalties or you’re intimidated by the vast world of investing—get over it! Make a solid plan to put away money for retirement and still add to your emergency account. Many people find both out of reach, but again, every little bit of savings helps in both cases. Over time, even the smallest amount of cash builds up.
Additionally, educate yourself on different types of investments you’re interested in. Advanta IRA offers weekly courses designed to educate and empower individuals who are ready to take control of their retirement futures. Visit our event calendars for live events near Tampa or in the Atlanta area, or plan to attend one of our nationwide webinars. Knowledge is power—and the more you know, the more comfortable you’ll feel navigating investment opportunities.
Contribute to that employee plan or open an individual retirement account of your own
Not happy that your employer has a sponsored plan available but they don’t offer a match for the contributions you make? So what? You still have a vehicle to use and you should contribute what you can from each paycheck.
Maybe your employer doesn’t even offer retirement plans. Well, that shouldn’t stop you from opening an individual account of your own. Tip: traditional or Roth IRAs are a good place to start. Other options include SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, and individual 401(k) plans. You can even self-direct all of these plans, if you choose.
Forget about Social Security
This sounds a little harsh, but we’ve all heard and read about the troubles and woes many are having with Social Security benefits. No matter who is to blame, you don’t have time to point fingers. While you should try your best to calculate your potential benefits into the amount you need for retirement, you probably cannot solely depend on it. So—just forget it exists. Concentrate instead on the type of retirement planning that you can control to a degree, that you have an absolute say in, things that have a greater potential to boost your retirement income.
How we can help
Advanta IRA is a self-directed retirement plan administrator serving clients across the nation. We hold over $1 billion in alternative assets using self-directed IRAs. These unique plans allow plan owners to use their own experience and expertise to decide which investment opportunities work best for them in building wealth for retirement.
While we do think self-direction is beneficial and has the potential to successfully diversify retirement portfolios—it does not matter what your chosen investment vehicle is. What matters is that you begin to take retirement planning seriously. Investigate every savings option and pick one that best fits your needs and comfort level. Because, regardless of how you start investing today, you’ll thank yourself tomorrow.
For more information regarding this article, please contact us.