We all look forward to a time when we get to shake off the shackles of work and dedicate our days to our loved ones and hobbies. However, your retirement ultimately depends on the steps you take while you’re still working and looking at investments.
Indeed, a big part of this involves adopting strategies that make sure we have sufficient savings to take care of our day-to-day needs when we retire. But it’s just as important to direct some focus on investing in aspects that enrich us personally during that time.
Let’s explore some investment strategies you can consider adopting to thrive in your retirement years financially and emotionally.
The first and most important thing we have to emphasize about any investment strategy for retirement and self-enrichment is to aim to plan ahead. This isn’t to say that you can’t still thrive when you must start saving later in life. It’s possible. Nevertheless, the earlier you can start your investments, the better. This isn’t just about being able to build more money over time. You’re also likely to have a broader range of options available to create a solid nest egg.
No matter what age you start saving for your retirement, set clear goals. This is particularly important if you want to retire early, though it’s still vital if you’re taking a more traditional approach.
Start by trying to get a good understanding of what your financial retirement needs will be. Of course, we all know it’s impossible to predict the future, but you can work toward the standard of living you want to achieve. How much will you likely spend each year, including travel and hobbies? Add a buffer for emergencies. Multiply this by the number of years you expect to have in retirement. Essentially, This figure is what you aim to generate through your savings and investments.
From here, you can identify the retirement savings strategies most likely to help you get as close to that figure as possible. If you’re starting early, a 401(k) with contributions matched by your employer is a solid long-term growth option. Roth individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are a good option if you’re saving later, as you can open an account personally and put in as much as $6000 per year. There’s also an element of simplicity here as you invest with after-tax income, which means you pay tax on neither your interest nor your withdrawals during retirement.
If you’re ever in doubt about the practicality of how to set and meet your goals, consult a qualified financial advisor specializing in retirement funds. They’re likely to have a nuanced understanding of using data about your current financial circumstances to predict your needs and match these with effective plans.
Traditional retirement investments, such as IRAs and 401(k)s, are a good start. However, they’re far from the be-all and end-all of your options. Indeed, we tend to find that the most effective approach to financial security in your post-work years is to avoid relying on a single source of income. If you can realistically stretch to investing more of your liquid capital, it’s worth diversifying your retirement portfolio.
Some of the reasons this is effective include:
- You may be less financially disrupted if one of your retirement income sources loses value or fails.
- You can benefit from market value rises that affect some investment items but not others.
- Having multiple investments that reliably appreciate may get you toward your retirement goals faster.
- Some of your investments may provide additional sources of income during your retirement years rather than simply contributing to the pot of finances you have access to on the day of your retirement.
Alongside traditional retirement funds, you can diversify your portfolio by looking into stocks and bonds, where you can relatively control how you invest your money over time. You can utilize a broker or work independently to track the markets, buying, selling, and reinvesting. However, as with any investment, the value of these items can go down and up, so you must be mindful of your assets.
Dividend stocks can also be a good strategy for a diverse retirement portfolio. You’re not just profiting from the value of the stock itself but also gain a regular income that can help offset the loss of employment income when you stop working. Though, look for companies with fairly reliable and high dividend yields, like AT&T and Procter & Gamble, among others.
In some circumstances, real estate can also be a part of a diverse retirement portfolio. This might come from purchasing to renovate and flip. You might also appreciate your equity over time and sell at peak market prices. Alternatively, you could purchase rental properties to supplement your income during retirement. Fluctuations in the housing market can impact this and requires a significant amount of up-front investment.
Cost-Effective and Green Vehicles
Purchasing a vehicle at any time of your life is an investment in your financial well-being and lifestyle. Buying with a loan may affect your credit score, the vehicle’s efficiency can impact your living costs, and — in some cases — different types of vehicles affect the tax breaks you get.
For example, you may receive credits for cost-effective and green vehicles. These cars combine an electric motor for lower speeds and a gas combustion engine for higher speeds. This means that you can financially (and environmentally) gain from greater fuel efficiency than you’d get from a traditional car. There’s also lower wear and tear to the combustion engine, so you’ll likely reduce maintenance costs. That said, there’s still some dependence on fossil fuels, which means you’re still subjected to fluctuating fuel prices.
Another increasingly practical option is to go fully electric. This is certainly both a more green and long-term cost-effective investment. Up-front costs may be more expensive than traditional vehicles, though this has begun to edge lower. You’ll also find the running costs are cheaper, particularly if you utilize renewable energy sources. Notably, some states offer tax incentives for those investing in a new electric vehicle, which has less of a negative impact on your retirement capital.
If you can’t afford a hybrid or an electric vehicle, you should find ways to be more conservative with your gas. Use gas-saving techniques such as avoiding speeding or breaking abruptly, and find more routes to walk or bike.
Enriching Travel Experiences
Our investment strategy recommendations thus far have been largely toward the financial. Yet, it’s just as important to consider how the places you put your capital enriches you in other ways. During retirement, it’s not unusual for people to prioritize travel experiences. While it can be tempting to think of this as just another frivolous expense you need to plan for, we’d recommend shifting your perspective a little. Look at this as an investment in yourself.
This attitude can help you be more intentional about choosing travel destinations that are great for personal growth in your later years. Start by considering the potential benefits of travel. Learning new languages can aid your cognition. Following your curiosity can lead to renewed purpose in life. Introducing new cultures can help you feel more connected to your fellow humans.
There is, of course, a financial consideration here. In each trip you take — whether you’re flying or driving — you can utilize a variety of tactics to help you save money while on the road. For example, you can make your own meals, seek out cheaper destinations like a U.S. national park, or use gas-saving apps that can help you find the cheapest gas station in your area. As with many investments, shopping around for the best travel deals is wise. Indeed, your retirement freedom may give you greater scope for last-minute tickets or even age-related discounts.
Utilities aren’t necessarily the thing many of us would immediately consider when it comes to retirement investment strategies. Nevertheless, they play an important role in your plans. Being mindful of the utilities you choose tends to give you a little more wriggle room in your post-retirement finances. Ensuring you have all the services you need is also essential to maintaining a high standard of living.
Firstly, you should get into the habit of regularly reviewing the prices of utility providers. The competition between providers in some areas can result in regular shifts in pricing structures. Some providers offer additional deals for those who are willing to switch. It can be a little annoying to be frequently assessing your utility prices, but you can find you’re more in control of how much money you can save.
It’s also important to remember that utilities that impact your quality of life and self-enrichment are not limited to gas and electricity. While a fast internet connection may have been considered a luxury in the not-so-distant past, it is now essential. It helps you to keep in touch with family and friends over long distances. It also keeps you connected to the wider world. It can also support your retirement learning or activities, particularly if you’re starting a part-time business to bump up your savings.
In addition to having a fast internet connection, you should consider, too, that having access while you’re on the move is helpful. Getting internet in your car means you can keep connected to sources of vital information wherever you are, particularly if you plan on taking many road trips. Not to mention that you can contact loved ones even in remote areas, which boosts your sense of safety and well-being. Investing in in-car Wi-Fi is simple enough and involves enrolling in a connection service offered by a range of car manufacturers and internet service providers. You then follow the instructions on the car’s menu to get connected.
It’s important to take a multifaceted approach to ensuring you have the financial support and personal enrichment you need in retirement. Planning as early as possible provides you with more options, while diverse investments offer a more solid financial foundation. Green vehicles are often more cost-effective, saving you money both to save more toward your retirement and when you’re no longer working. Remember that investing in travel can enrich you emotionally, cognitively, and culturally. Though it might feel small, a more discerning approach to your utilities can make your retirement years more manageable and convenient.
You should bear in mind, though, that everyone’s retirement needs are different. Take a little extra time to be mindful of your needs so that you can tailor your investment resources in a more relevant way.
This article Exploring Investment Strategies for Retirement and Self-Enrichment originally appeared on Rick Orford – Helping You Invest In Yourself.