Some friends and associates may pass over my periodic posts here thinking they are not relevant to them, which is why I am focusing on retirement: why worry? You see, regardless your situation, well prepared or ill prepared, knowing more and acting on it with respect to your retirement is entirely relevant for each of you.
First, some context on where things stand.
Americans are astonishingly ill prepared for retirement, and Social Security is no panacea. You truly do have to invest in your retirement, and the leaner things are now, the smarter you need to be about it.
We are way behind: Ready to get serious about saving for retirement? Here’s what you need to do.
Compound interest helps: Ask a financial planner: ‘What is compound interest?’
Managing your investments does not end when you retire: 3 Reasons it’s important you continue investing long after you retire
Healthcare remains the elephant in the room: These 5 charts predict what retirees will pay for healthcare over the next 10 years Near retirees can expect $400K in health care costs
We continue to live longer, so the old rules no longer apply: We’re living longer – get ready to pay for it 4% Retirement Rule: Why It Might Not Work for You, and What You Should Do About It Managing your retirement nest egg and making it last as long as you do
Now that you have a sense for things, what can you do about it right now?
- No news here, start by leveraging your best tools first. That means employer sponsored plans like a 401(k) or 403(b). Maximize your contribution to optimize the employer match, and use pre-tax contributions to get as much as possible in there. if you can save more, do it, using other tax advantaged tools like IRAs, KEOGH plans even some life insurance and annuities come with tax advantaged saving features, e.g. The Swiss Army Knife of Retirement
- Maintain a laser-like focus on fees. Even inside your employer plans, IRAs and KEOGH plans, be sensitive to all ‘hidden’ costs. These eat your earnings right off the top.
- Periodically loop back to ensure you are still good on points one and two … that’s right, rules change, fees change, and you might not notice. Vanguard raises some expense ratios
- Have a strategy and stick with it. What’s Your Excuse for Having No Investment Plan for Retirement?
- Keep learning. Hard Truths for Investors to Wrap Their Heads Around Is Everything You Think You Know Wrong?
I realize I seem to have a one track mind, retirement. That’s because it is how I best feel able to help each of you. Now, though, here are some other, thought provoking articles.
You may have read about this AI from Google beating the world class Go player. It is said to be quite a feat, and this article expands on this. Most interestingly, the article delves into the ‘what-ifs’ around AI given this one’s ability to think of things a human would not consider. Fascinating. Google just proved how unpredictable artificial intelligence can be
As you think of desirable traits for a President, predictability has to be pretty high on the list. Admittedly most campaign promises go by the boards, but you hope the candidate is truthful and sticks to their core beliefs (as outlined during the election). Incredibly, The Economist has taken a strong stand on our current election cycle. What do you think of this? ‘President Donald Trump’ in Top Ten Risk Events for Global Economy