Retirement Investments

Retirement investments can help many folks, even those who are financially ill-prepared, to achieve a comfortable lifestyle in their golden years by providing safe, reliable returns that make the most of limited savings or a fixed income. Finding a personal finance advisor who understands your financial situation and can make smart recommendations based on your lifestyle and current savings is crucial to funding the retirement you deserve. The advice of a good financial manager can mean the difference between a stressful life after you stop working and peaceful, worry-free golden years. Obviously, the earlier you start investing in your future the less worrisome your senior years will be, but finding a personal finance advisor who can help you get back on track is the first step to repairing the damage and finding retirement investments that can ensure you don't outlive your savings, even if you got a late start to investing and planning retirement income.

Retirement investments work best when they achieve slow, steady returns that yield reliable income when you need it. These investments are typically converted to low-risk, rather liquid accounts by the time you reach retirement, meaning that your funds are easily accessible and available to use when you need them. Deciding which investments will yield the most reliable living expenses as a senior is a process best begun in your younger years when your savings has the most time to grow and benefit from the effects of compound interest. However, even if you are like millions of Americans who have not been able to set aside the savings they had planned, you can still undo the damage of a meager account with the help of a local expert on personal finance.

Choosing the Right Investments

One of the smartest things you can do when you first enter the workplace is open a 401k plan, particularly if your employer will match your contributions. Ask your human resources department about your company's 401k plan and what percentage, if any, your employer is willing to match. Some companies match up to 100 percent. An individual retirement account, or IRA, is a great alternative to 401k if your company does not offer a 401k plan. Both of these accounts will allow you to make automatic contributions from your paycheck while you are working then withdraw funds regularly and without penalty after you reach 59 1/2 years of age. Depending on your tax situation, you might also consider a Roth IRA, which allows you to pay taxes on contributions to your account as you make them and withdraw later at a tax-free rate.

When you are in your 20s and 30s, some moderate to high-risk investments can be part of a diverse long-term strategy to get a balance of higher-yield accounts since you can wait out dips in the financial market. Once you start to approach retirement age, however, it is often wise to trade in volatile investments like common stocks for safer, if more mundane retirement investments like treasury bills, certificates of deposit or annuities. Preferred stocks are also sometimes a good option since dividends must be paid on preferred stocks before regular stocks. No matter what retirement investments you choose, it is always a good idea to keep three months of expenses in a regular, easily accessible savings account in case of an emergency.

Finding the Right Financial Advisor

Fortunately, you don't need to be a financial expert to create a portfolio of reliable retirement investments, even as you reach your 40s and 50s. A local financial advisor can help you every step of the way to realize your long-term goals and enjoy a standard of living that leaves you content, worry-free and satisfied with your financial decisions. The worst thing you can do as you near retirement age is panic and try to make up lost savings by choosing risky retirement investments. A local financial adisor can help you find a lower-risk strategy that fits your goals and ideal lifestyle by demonstrating your full range of options and helping you decide which retirement investments will get you back on track without risking what little savings you might have.

There are several characteristics to consider when choosing a financial advisor who can help you find the right retirement investments. Aside from demonstrating a strong knowledge of investments, you advisor should also have strong communication skills and an ability to understand not only your financial situation but your long-term goals and expected standard of living during retirement as well. Choosing a personal finance manager who has the time to get to know you and can make recommendations based on your preferred risk level as well as your long-term goals can help you prepare for your golden years with the peace of mind that your income keep up with your life expectancy.

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