Your investment for retirement has the simple goal of accumulating the
highest possible value in investments by the time you retire.
The best time to start investing for retirement is when you receive your first paycheck. The elements of time and compound interest make a formidable combination to produce a high value in investments by the time you retire.
That's what I did, but I did it rather half-heartedly! I only contributed to my retirement structure that much that was tax advantaged or within the limits of a contribution sheltered from tax.
Most people are in the same boat. We did not take investment towards a retirement account seriously during our early working years.
I woke up at age 50.
Looking back at that time when I realized in a panic that my retirement provision is inadequate, I would summarize an action plan as follows:
To take control of your own retirement planning you've got to educate yourself. Read books, newsletters, and any articles relating to investment for retirement. Don't believe everything you read or hear. Think about it and sift the information.
On this Web site there are several pages you could visit to add to your education.
Now this is probably the most difficult and risky part of your action plan. What you are looking for is an independent experienced qualified advisor.
If you spent time to educate yourself, you could easily evaluate candidates. Don't consider salesmen in disguise from a bank, an investment company, or an insurance company.
Ideally, an independent advisor would work for a fee from you and only a fee. No commissions paid to him by a brokerage firm, mutual fund company, insurance company, or investment partnership. Any of these commissions should be passed on to you, the investor.
The advisor should work for you and your interests only.
However, in the real world it is not always practical to have an arrangement based on only-a-fee. Be prepared to negotiate. The prospective advisor should propose some alternatives if he or she doesn't want to agree to a fee only arrangement.
Map your plan
Based on your research and education – with the help of your advisor – define your overall investment-for-retirement plan.
Be realistic. Set yourself attainable goals. But stick to your plan.
On another page of this Web site we discuss the possibilities of earning more and saving more to accelerate your investment plan.
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