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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Planning for Retirement: a Time Relatedc Tip

By Jeffrey Stevens

Before designing any investment strategy it is highly recommended that you consult an expert in the field. This guide is aimed at helping you to best invest your money for retirement at every stage through life.

You've heard the news, that we are about to enter a recession. Jobs may be lost, and belts will need to be tightened. During times like this, many people lose sight of the need for long-term financial plans. It is times like these, though that should heighten our awareness for the need to have sound financial goals and know how to achieve them.

And Social Security pensions are dwindling. As we live longer, governments are claiming that they do not have enough money for pensions. To save yourself from a Spartan existence during your twilight years you must have a plan.

It is a common myth that investing requires a large amount of capital initially, don't believe this. With some careful planning anyone, regardless of income or expenses, can begin saving for comfort in their golden years.

To get a fuller picture of your savings options read the entire article. If you would prefer to only read about your situation skip to the section about your age group.

You are 20something: Your whole life ahead of you, who wants to think about retirement. If you want retirement saving to be as pain free as possible; you do! The decisions you make as you enter the world on your own will set the pace for the rest of your life. Work on becoming debt-free, pay down student loans, choose a cheaper car and do not party away all of your money. For people in this bracket experts agree that the best course of action is to use IRAs and 401k plans set with automatic contributions. If funds are taken directly off your check, you won't even know that you're missing anything.

You are 30something: You are beginning to reap the rewards of your hard work with higher wages. Add to your 401k and IRA accounts gradually, slowly increasing contributions. Experts say that you should be investing about 10% of earnings by this point in life. Take the remainder of that 10% and invest in stocks. Stocks come with inherent risks, but prudence can help minimize risks.

If you are 40 - 50: Before you panic, remember that you still have about 20 years to prepare your retirement fund. If retirement saving hasn't been a priority for you, you're going to want to hit your contribution limits on any 401k or IRAs you do have. Also don't rely solely on employer based plans; open up at least one private plan for yourself. Your 40s are a good time to resort your assets. Take an overview of your entire portfolio. If you have been investing, scale back your stock options to 80% of your assets, and reinvest that money into saver options like bonds. Finally, if you have been supporting an adult child, it may be time to cut the apron strings.

50s: It is time to look hard at your finances. What goals do you have, and how much money will meeting them require? Arrange to meet with a financial consultant who can help you to design a custom plan to assist you in meeting your goals. Find out if you qualify for any assistance and apply for all that you are entitled to. Hit your limits - contribute the maximum you are allowed. Understand that 65 doesn't mean you won't work again. Many people are choosing to stay in their jobs longer, or to take part-time positions elsewhere. - 23208

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