Retirement planning can be an overwhelming proposition. There are many options and the markets are always changing. This makes it tempting to set up something generic and then leave your portfolio “on autopilot.”
However, if you want to succeed with your retirement efforts, you need to go further. Here are a few suggestions for ways to ensure that your investments are working for you.
Set Up the Right Account for Your Needs
It’s difficult to have healthy investments if you don’t understand what your options are. This starts with the kind of account that you set up. This can be an IRA, a 401(k), or even a pension plan depending on what’s available.
In addition, many of these have sub-categories. For instance, you can set up a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA. Nerdwallet succinctly explains the difference between the two of these: “Contributions to traditional IRAs are tax-deductible, but withdrawals in retirement are taxable. In comparison, contributions to Roth IRAs are not tax-deductible, but the withdrawals in retirement are tax-free.”
Each of these has its advantages and disadvantages, which will vary depending on your specific circumstances. As with all of these recommendations, it’s highly advisable to seek financial counsel when choosing your retirement plan to set up an account that will serve you best.
Choose the Right Investments
Along with the kind of account, consider the types of investments that you should populate it with. Common investment options include:
- Stocks and bonds;
- Mutual Funds;
- ETFs (exchange-traded funds);
- DRIPs (dividend reinvestment plans);
- Cash investments (like a CD);
- Alternative investments (like real estate or cryptocurrency.)
Each of these options comes with varying levels of risk. For instance, alternative investments tend to be high-risk, high-reward investments. It’s wise to avoid over-investing in these categories….
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