Personally, the past few years have put a lot of things in perspective for me. This has never been truer than it is for the way that I view finances and preparing for the future. While retirement might seem like it is a long way away, the truth is that time moves a lot quicker than we expect.
What appears to be far off in the future is actually just around the bend, given a bit of perspective. So, preparing for it as soon as we can is probably the best move. This raises the question, though: how do we get started? What strategies can we employ?
Today, this is exactly what I am aiming to answer. Sure, there are plenty of advice columns and pages such as this one, https://www.forbes.com/advisor/retirement/how-to-save-for-retirement/, but I find that the clinical language can make them hard to understand at times. I am going to offer a more down-to-earth description.
When Should We Start?
At risk of sounding like a broken record, the answer to this is simple: as soon as we are able to. The thing is that this will look different for everyone, so it is difficult to provide one single, concrete age. Some of us start working when we are teenagers and decide to begin putting money aside during those years, while others dedicate themselves fully to academics, athletics, and extracurricular activities – meaning that they will begin a bit later.
The important thing is that you initiate the process when you are financially comfortable to do so. A shocking, and frankly troubling, number of Americans are currently living paycheck to paycheck. When it is difficult to get by, I understand that thoughts of savings are probably not at the forefront of your mind.
However, even if you are only setting aside a dollar a paycheck, it will be better than nothing. For most of us, we can start this in our young adulthood – even if it is in your late twenties, you can feel good knowing that you have taken some of the first steps. While your efforts may not seem like much at first, it does all add up!
What Should We Invest in?
It is something that has been weighing heavy on my mind, and I am sure that I am not alone in that line of thinking. There are so many assets out there these days that narrowing it down to one selection might seem impossible. However, there is more here than meets the eye, and something important that a lot of us seem to forget!
The truth is that we do not have to select just one thing to invest in. In fact, it is better to create a portfolio of assets and spread our money throughout a few different industries. It might seem odd or like a waste but doing this gives us more of a safety to fall back on if one market is to fail.
One example of this is metal-res money, since precious metals are a fairly hot commodity in today’s financial atmosphere. For the most part, it is considered safe to invest in because gold, silver, and platinum are highly unlikely to lose significant amount of value in the coming years. They have retained their worth and value throughout centuries of human history, after all.
How Does it Work?
Admittedly, this is where things get a bit sticky. Largely, it will depend on what sorts of assets you are looking to get into. With precious metals, typically you look for a broker, a custodian, and sort out how you want to store it. You may also want to look into setting up a specific type of retirement fund that is designed for these metals.
Otherwise, though, it can get slightly more complicated. Some folks opt to get into real estate, so speaking to an agent is not a bad idea. It does appear to be fairly lucrative, although there are cautions right now that the current market boom is simply not sustainable – so, that is something to watch out for.
Of course, there is also the ever-present “cryptocurrency,” which has a lot of press coverage like this but remains an enigma for many investors. Investing in something that has no tangible form or payout is certainly a risk, although there are those who claim they have made their fortunes through things like bitcoin mining.
Inevitably, though, the decision will be up to you on what to involve yourself with. Each comes with its own pros and cons, which I do hope that the resources that I have provided can assist you with determining. I am not exactly comfortable with telling you exactly what to choose, but rather offering some guidance in general.
At the end of the day, the message that I am most keen to impart is that we should start early and invest often. No matter what assets we pick, diversifying is also always a good idea. That way, a stock market crash will not end up completely decimating your retirement fund. No one wants that, right?
To some extent, it is tempting to try to rely entirely on government funded programs in our later years. Unfortunately, with the uncertainty of the future and the small amounts that are offered, having additional funds to fall back on is likely in our best interest.