Today, I want to emphasize the importance of investing for retirement rather than simply saving. That’s doubly important if you’ve reached a certain age. What age is that? Well, I’ll tell you…
Age 55: The Year Everything Changes
Lots of workers have to battle their way through every week, from the living hell of Monday to the heart-warming bliss of Friday. They see the days coming and they know what to expect. And it’s just about the same for the months, with people scanning the horizon for the next holiday or vacation.
But the decades do just tend to slip by most of us. You never see them coming and then one day they suddenly walk up behind you and slap you on the back of the head.
You know this is true, whether you’re an antique yourself or simply hang around with old people. One constant conversational theme for people who’ve turned the odometer over a few times is, “Where did the time go?”
My contention is that most of us manage to put off thinking too hard about investing for retirement or our financial futures until we hit 55. That’s the year you stop counting up and start counting down.
At that age, you’re at or near the peak of your earning power. You’ve weathered house payments, car payments, your kids’ education and weddings and you’re now an empty nester. And suddenly the big SIX-FIVE, the traditional retirement age, is close enough that you can count the years on your fingers.
For many people, it’s a big wake-up call. And for even more, it’s a sphincter-tightening moment of sheer panic. And that’s because the retirement planning that you’ve been working at haphazardly is suddenly looking totally inadequate.
How inadequate? Well, a survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Greenwald & Associates says that just 14% of all workers have $250,000 or more in their retirement savings. (Fortunately, that percentage rises to 23% for workers over the age of 45, but that’s still pretty discouraging.)
I want to make two points. First, no matter what you’re doing, you need to stop thinking about saving for retirement and start thinking about investing for retirement.
The Power of Investing for Retirement
Saving for retirement is the tired old idea that you spend your working life filling up a bucket of money and then start ladling it out slowly when you retire.
But any money that you have in an actual savings account is pretty much wasted, since your rate of return on a bank savings account guarantees that your money will be constantly losing purchasing power as inflation eats away at it.
If you want to get ahead in a capitalist society, you need to be making capital investments. If your money isn’t working hard for you, it’s just sitting there losing value – hence the importance of investing for retirement.
My second point is that the appropriate person to be in charge of your retirement assets is you. Yes, you can turn the job over to a financial planner, a stock broker, a mutual fund salesman, or your brother in law.
But nobody is going to pay closer attention to your investments, or keep your best interests in mind, or charge you lower fees, than you, yourself.
So if you’ve just hit the double nickels (that’s 55 for those of you who don’t remember the citizen’s band radio craze) and you need a trustworthy partner to help you start investing for retirement, consider Financial Freedom Federation.
The style of investing that you choose is up to you. If you have a high risk tolerance and like the idea of building a small portfolio of attractive stocks, buying individual stocks is just what you need. Our advisories can help you assemble a portfolio of growth stocks, each with a strong story, a solid history of revenue and earnings growth and a chart that reflects enthusiastic acceptance by the investing world.
Our advisories also keep close tabs on the momentum of the stock markets themselves, advising subscribers when conditions are right to increase exposure and when it’s prudent to dial back on stocks and go to cash.
Financial Freedom Federation can offer you guidance on small-cap stocks, options, income stocks and recommendations from different advisors. One of them will be just right for you as you take charge and face the decade leading up to your retirement.