With the economy on the decline, retirement may seem impossible. However, if you are concerned about the financial security of your retirement years, you have to be serious about financial retirement planning. Financial retirement planning is the first step to ensure that the lifestyle you’re dreaming of at retirement will have a better chance of becoming a reality.
No matter how old or young you are, it’s never the wrong time to think about financial retirement planning and start a retirement savings plan. However, the earlier you begin the better off you will be. Chances are you will have a larger nest egg at retirement if you begin saving at 30 years of age instead of 60. With more years to invest your investment will have a better chance of recovering from any drops or bump along the way. The longer your money is invested the better your chance of securing your future. By planning for your retirement needs, you’ll identify what you need to do in order to secure your future and be in a better position to deal with most issues that may otherwise confuse you and do damage to you financially.
The first consideration for your retirement savings plan will be where your investment money will go and for how long. As a basic strategy, you should invest some of your money in short term investments, medium-term investments and long term investments. The type of investment usually is determined by your time horizon. Generally, the more time you have before having to sell off the investment for cash, the riskier the investment.
If your time horizon is five or more years, which would be considered long term investments, you can choose investments that appreciate over time. Growth stocks and real estate are good long term investments if you have many years left before retirement. Volatile stocks or CDs are considered short term investments, investments that are held for a year or less, and should be reevaluated several times a year.
Times are different – you can no longer take the retirement planning advice of an investment adviser as gospel when it comes to financial retirement planning. You need to educate yourself and take charge of your money.
If you find planning for your retirement needs a daunting task, there are many retirement planning tools you can turn to for help. These tools include well-written books that can explain the difference between things like bonds and stock, etc. There are also individual classes and seminars that you can take to help you craft your retirement investment plan to reach the goals you set for your retirement.
You don’t want to find out too late that you don’t have enough money to cover your retirement needs. You must educate yourself to gain an understanding of what is possible with the money you invest. Generally, a balanced retirement savings plan should include investments in treasury bills, money market and savings account to provide accessible cash; stocks in small, medium and large companies for growth and appreciation; and other investments such as real estate for long term appreciation.
Your financial retirement planning should take into account the number of years you have left until you plan to retire. The more years you have to invest your money, the more risk you should take with your investment money. If you have only a few years before retiring, you should have more of your investment funds in readily available cash. You don’t want to be at retirement’s door with most of your money tied up in the stock market only to see a big portion of the money disappear in a market downturn, which can happen at any time.
If you do have many years before retirement, aggressive stocks and real estate can be a sound investment. Your nest-egg may growth faster with this investment strategy because the funds are shielded from certain taxes, and because real estate is a good hedge against inflation.
Financial retirement planning is not rocket science. It’s mostly common sense. Besides there are many retirement planning tools that you can use to help you create the best retirement savings plan for you. However, even the best laid out plan needs to be reviewed and adjusted with the circumstances. Review your retirement investment portfolio at lease once a year and make adjustments as warranted. Don’t let short term ups and downs in the market throw you off your path that leads to your goals. Ups and downs in the investment market are part of the normal cycle of investing. Stick to your informed long term plans and the bumps along the way should all even out over the years to provide for your retirement needs.