by Marcus Benjamin1. Traditionally, retirement has been defined as the period of your life beyond 591⁄2 where you live off the investment decisions you have made over your working life. So, if you are going to retire the traditional way, you need to make wise investment choices during your working life.
2. The stock market is volatile, but historically it has produced strong gains over time. Most people who have made great gains through stock or mutual fund investing were investors of 15 years or more. Do not try to fund retirement income in less than 10 years from the stock market—the market works best over the long haul.
3. Do not underestimate the value of having a financial advisor who shares your convictions. If they share your convictions and are the right fit for you, you can make arrangements for the fees. Most financial advisors charge a “per visit” fee or an annual fee for ongoing advising. Choose which option is right for you.
4. For various reasons most people today are retiring much later than 59 1⁄2, so if you are in that boat, do not be alarmed. If you are over 59 1⁄2, focus on paying off your debts while contributing to a revised retirement plan. You typically should not have the same investment allocation as you had a few years ago with the change in the economic environment—see your advisor or investment company representative for details.
5. Invest in entrepreneurship. I have been saying for the last 10 years that we need to do more investment in the starting and growing of small businesses, and people are finally catching up. Financial commentators only propagated stock and mutual fund investing, but they have changed their language over the past two years. Start off part time and grow into a full time small business owner. At least if you are working beyond 59 1⁄2, you will be doing what you want to do versus what you have to do.
*The suggestions given above do not constitute specific investment advice. Please see a financial advisor for specific investment advice.
Marcus D. Benjamin is fast becoming known as a clear voice in business development and strategy, problem solving, economic proficiency, community enhancement & educational revitalization. His candor, convictions and competence “synergize” to add measurable value to a variety of diverse entities.