When your budget won't let you give gifts to everyone in the world—which is always, by the way—who should you give...
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Investing for retirement is a commitment, and as anyone who’s taken on a long-term project will tell you, it’s best not to go it alone. Actually, it wouldn’t hurt to have several people on your side as you build your nest egg.
Here are some folks you’ll want on your retirement investing team:
1. Someone Who Likes Roller Coasters
Basically, this person understands your retirement goals and agrees with you about how to achieve them. If you’re married, that person is ideally your spouse. But, if your spouse isn’t on board with your investing plan . . . well, it will be like riding a roller coaster while the person in the seat next to you constantly tries to jump off.
If you need to convince your spouse that investing for retirement is a good idea, please don’t whack them over the head with “Dave says” this or “Dave says” that. Start by talking about your dreams for retirement. What trips do you want to take? What causes or ministries would you like to volunteer for?
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Then you can show them how good planning and some sacrifices now mean you’ll be able to live out those dreams in your golden years.
Singles need a roller coaster partner as well. Again, this is someone who knows where you’re headed and understands how important it is that you stick to your plan no matter how steep or scary the ride gets. They don’t have to be an experienced investor, but if they are, you could get some valuable insight from their years of real-life investing.
Whether it’s your spouse or a really good friend, your roller coaster partner is there to give you a mental boost when investing is tough and help you keep your head on straight in the boom times. Their main job is to hold you accountable for sticking with your long-term plan no matter what’s going on in the stock market.
2. An Employer Who’s Willing to Help
There’s really only one place you’ll find someone willing to give you an instant and guaranteed return on your investing dollars—at work! Most employers who offer 401(k)s will match a portion of the money you put into your account up to a certain percentage of your income. It’s a great deal and one you shouldn’t turn down if it’s available.
When you leave your job, take your 401(k) with you. Roll that money into an IRA where you’ll have more control over your investments.
You can build a retirement fund if your employer doesn’t offer a 401(k), but if you work for one who does, you’ll find that your 401(k) is a valuable tool to help you save for your future.
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3. The “Sophisticated” Investor
This is the kind of person you’ll need only in small doses—at least at first. “Sophisticated” will likely look down his nose at you and declare your investing plan to be too simple to work. Then, just to show you how smart he is, he’ll bore you to death with details about the hoops he jumps through and the complicated financial maneuvers he uses for his investing plan.
The longer you invest, though, the more fun it is to talk with “Sophisticated.” While you sit back and let compound interest work to grow your retirement fund for you, “Sophisticated” is chasing his tail just trying to keep up. The scary truth is that he could one day make a decision that wipes out all his hard work, and there will be no way to get the money back.
All of “Sophisticated’s” big talk will simply bolster your confidence in your own retirement plan. When you see the risks he’s taking and how he constantly monitors his investments, you’ll be glad you kept things simple—and effective.
4. A True Investing Professional
We say this all the time, but that’s because it’s the truth. You really do need a trustworthy financial advisor who will teach you how investing works so you can make your own decisions about your retirement plan.
Sure, you could try to go it alone. But you’ll likely end up like “Sophisticated” —frustrated and anxious about every tidbit of economic news.
So start off on the right foot and use an advisor with the heart of a teacher like Dave recommends through his network of investing Endorsed Local Providers (ELPs). Find your ELP today.