Invest for Retirement: a Time Related Tip

By Reed Wilson

This article will discuss strategies to ensure your investments see you through your retirement, tailored to your age group. This is only a guide, and you should consult your financial manager prior to undertaking any large investments.

In today's uncertain economic environment, many people are worried about their future. When people are anxious about their jobs they tend to forget about investing. But the economic crisis is the main reason I think people should be investing for their future. If not your investments, what will pay you through retirement?

Unfortunately, we can no longer depend upon Social Security to carry us through our golden years. More and more, governments are pushing the onus of caring for ourselves through old age back onto the people. This burden opens opportunities for the savvy consumer though. Through smart investing and discipline you can lead a life of luxury instead of merely surviving your old age.

It is a common myth that investing requires a large amount of capital initially, don't believe this. With some careful planning anyone, regardless of income or expenses, can begin saving for comfort in their golden years.

To get a fuller picture of your savings options read the entire article. If you would prefer to only read about your situation skip to the section about your age group.

20s: Discipline early in life, will serve you throughout life. Do not allow yourself to become buried under debt. Yours is the least painful position to be in. Your best course of action will be to pay down debt and make use of employer contributions to a 401k fund. You should also look into an IRA - your bank can help you to set it up so that funds are automatically withdrawn so that you don't miss your money.

If you are 30 - 40: Those of you in this group are probably becoming more financially stable. It is time for you to re-assess your savings. If you have already been contributing to a 401k, consider increasing your payments. You will see surprising results with an increase as small as 1%. By increasing payments slowly, you won't even miss the money. IRAs are a good idea, in your 30s too, since there is a lot of time before retirement to allow funds to grow. You should also be looking to the stock market. Now is the time to be bold with your money. Even if the market turns on you, you'll have time to rebuild yourself.

40s: You still have time to build that nest egg, so don't worry. Max out your IRA and 401k contributions. Look through your portfolio and make sure you do not have too much money invested in any one place. The idea now is to begin decreasing your risk, while earning as much as possible. Consider selling some of your stock holdings and invest in bonds.

If you are 50 - 60: You're finally close enough to see the end-zone, but now you're worried you haven't done enough. You will have to be honest with yourself. Decide what your goals for retirement are and find out how much money you will need to meet those goals. Once you are armed with this, collect all your records: assets, expenses, debt, goals and contact a financial expert. You are going to need assistance to, and they can help you. Utilize any government grants or other opportunities that might be available to you. Depending on where you live, you may be entitled to contribute a higher percentage of your salary than previously. If your situation isn't as rosy as you'd like you may need to look into delaying retirement or taking a part-time job after leaving your current position.

If you have a Roth 401k or the typical 401(k) plan be sure to check the latest 401k contribution limit for your plan.

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