Retirement Planning: Where to Begin


When you’re young, retirement seems so far away, but most of us will find that those years are upon us in what seems like the blink of the eye.  Many, however, will enter these years unprepared for the reduction of income they’ll face upon retirement, the unexpected costs of medical problems, and the other challenges they’ll face that seem to eat away at what may be just a meager savings.  That’s why experts encourage us to start planning early by investing in financial tools that will keep us comfortable in our later years.

Planning for retirement can be confusing.  There are so many vehicles from which to choose to assist you in amassing enough money to allow you to enjoy a comfortable retirement, free of financial woes.

Should I Use a Financial Planner?
If you’re not employed in the financial field, chances are that you don’t know everything there is to know about investing.  If that’s the case, there are a few things you can do to become educated about products available to enhance your wealth. If so desired, you can enlist the services of a financial planner.  Such licensed individuals are well-versed in a variety of products that will assist you in saving for your retirement.

You’ll want to choose a planner carefully as some have a vested interest in selling only one particular product or group of products and will probably encourage you to buy those specific items as he’ll receive an incentive in return.  Instead, look for an “independent” financial planner who’s eager to offer a variety of options.

Regardless of what kind of planner you use, that individual should take time to ask questions to determine not only your current financial status but also your goals for retirement.  When do you wish to stop working?  Will you move to a more affordable community upon retirement?  Do you hope to travel extensively in your later years?

Your goals and how far you are from retirement should help the planner choose vehicles that will get you what you need when you need it.  Those who are far from retirement can be a bit more experimental in choosing where to invest.  However, if you’re starting late and you need to amass a large amount of money in a small amount of time, you’ll need to choose more aggressive investments.

A Little Research Can Go a Long Way
Enlisting the services of a financial planner can be expensive, so if you’re just starting out in your career, you may want to do some research on your own.  It’s easy to educate yourself on the ins and outs of particular investment tools just by taking some time to do a little reading.

Research such investment items as CDs, savings bonds, mutual funds, traditional and Roth IRAs, annuities, and stocks. Learn the disadvantages and advantages of each, including the risks you take when you invest.  Determine the investments with which you’d be comfortable.  If you’re a hesitant investor, you may find stocks to be too risky but perhaps you’d be happy with mutual funds.

Smart investing means that you shouldn’t be constantly stressed about your money and what’s happening to it.  Choose wisely to ensure your peace of mind.

Categories Investing and Financial Planning, Retirement

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