It takes a lot of time, effort and strategic thinking to plan for retirement in today’s ever-changing world. In the past, employees could work for a single company their whole life and be rewarded with a generous pension. This pension, plus Social Security benefits, allowed workers to enjoy a good standard of living post-retirement. Now, employees must navigate a world where employment changes are frequent, job security is non-existent and large pensions are often not available. Today, in most cases, it’s employees who must take control and create their own financial cushion. Here are some pre-retirement planning and investment strategies to help you secure a financially secure future.
Assess Where You Are and Where You Need to Be
If you are within 10 years of leaving the workforce, it’s important to do an honest assessment of where you are financially and where you need to be. Carefully review all estimated retirement resources from company-sponsored 403(b) or 401(k) plans, individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and your Social Security Benefits. Add in your expected savings, other assets and the equity you have in your home. Many people leaving the workforce think they will only need 70 or 80 percent of their usual wages to make ends meet. With higher medical costs and other expenses increasing with age, though, it’s a smarter move to have 100 percent of your current earnings each year at your disposal.
Seek Out Sources of Income
If your income resources do not amount to a positive outcome, it’s time to think about exploring other ways to bring in some extra cash. Supplementing your benefits with income from other sources such as part-time employment, contracting or a side hustle that brings in excellent revenue is a wise choice. This additional income can also reduce the need to draw down your savings. Take time to learn how to day trade now and you will discover how to execute a large volume of short and long trades to exploit on intraday market price action. Sign up to become a Lyft or Uber driver if you’ve got spare time and an interest in meeting new people. Becoming an online tutor or trying freelance work may be the best option for you if you prefer to work from home. There are so many opportunities out there so take some time to explore your options.
Selecting the Best Investment Asset Mix
The closer you get to retirement the more important it is to do risk assessments on your investments. If you are less than 10 years out from leaving the workforce, you cannot afford to have your funds tied up in one or two assets. Diversity is key if you want to increase your probability of financial security so it’s important to explore your options and manage your risk. So, what does the ideal portfolio for retirees look like? Experts recommend having a combination of bonds (fixed-income), stocks (equities) and cash-based assets. Bonds, immediate annuities, variable annuities, closed-end funds, dividend income funds, rental real estate, and REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) are some of the options available. Take some time to explore the above and determine what investments offer the best mix of risk and return potential for you.