safe investments

Safe Investment Options to Fund Retirement

Your retirement years are supposed to be the time of your life when you can relax a little and engage in the hobbies and interests you never had much time for while you were working. However, this will only be possible if you have saved enough money to live on well in advance.

While there are no absolute guarantees with any type of investment, the options discussed here tend to be among the safest choices – meaning that you’ll be able to make the most of this time of your life without worrying about finances.

Savings Accounts and/or CDs

When interest rates are attractive, these two options can be an excellent way for you to start investing money safely for your retirement. However, you’ll need to keep in mind that you won’t be able to rely solely on the interest from these two sources because they tend to attract rates of between 2% and 3% at most. This means that for every $100,000 that has been invested, you’ll only earn between $2,000 and $3,000 per year – and there are broker fees to consider as well.

Bonds

When you buy bonds, it means that someone else owes you a sum of money and they will be paying you interest on it. 

When these investment tools are used alongside a well-diversified portfolio, safer options such as government or federal bonds and those issued by other reputable corporations can enable you to earn a decent amount of income once you’ve retired.

Immediate Fixed Annuities

If a little more predictability is what you’re looking for with regards to investing, consider the option of an immediate fixed annuity. 

Immediate fixed annuities involve having a contract drawn up at the time of purchase that will guarantee you of a specific amount of income over a predetermined amount of time. In most cases, you will also start receiving an income from these annuities virtually immediately or from one month after they have been purchased. You’ll receive monthly payments with this form of investment. 

Age is a Crucial Factor to Consider

When you’re searching for some of the safer investment options for retirement, you’ll need to take your current age into consideration. If you’re in your mid to late 40s or older, it’s strongly recommended that you focus mainly on investments that are lower risk because you may not have enough time to recoup losses if they occur. If you’re still young, say in your 20s or 30s, you still have a little time on your side to take a few bigger risks on the stock market. 

Some other reliable forms of income you can use to supplement retirement income include rental payments from property you may own, home equity and real estate investment trusts (REITS). If you’re not sure where to start with regards to ensuring that you’ll have enough money to live on during your retirement, get in contact with our team today. We look forward to assisting you. 

 

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double savings efforts

Is it Possible to Double your Savings Efforts?

Regardless of whether you’re building an emergency fund, paying for your child’s college tuition or trying to save for that much needed vacation trip, putting funds into dedicated accounts can be quite challenging at times. Many individuals have stated that they simply cannot seem to save enough money, no matter how hard they try. However, the tips below could help you to double the amount of money you’re currently saving.

  1. Give up One Luxury Item or Service

These days, most individuals have at least a few luxury items or services that they think they cannot do without such as a daily coffee or a meal out with the family each week. Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with the occasional treat, it’s crucial to keep in mind that even the smallest amounts of money that are spent in this way will add up over time. 

For instance, a $40 fast food meal once a week will add up to around $160 per month, or a whopping $1,920 over the course of a year. Putting an amount of money like this into an emergency savings account or an IRA will yield extremely positive results over time. It’s not necessary to give up all of life’s little extras – after all, what would life be without the occasional treat? However, sacrificing one thing can make the world of difference to your finances.

  1. Take Advantage of your Company’s 401(k) Benefit

If you’re fortunate enough to work for a company that offers a 401(k) benefit and you don’t take advantage of it, you will be missing out on a tremendous amount of money over time. 

Your employer will usually provide you with a matching contribution up to a predetermined amount, so you should ideally be contributing the same amount from each of your paychecks. This is by far the easiest way to double the amount of funds that you’re currently saving and another benefit to this form of saving is that these funds are deducted from your earnings before taxes – saving you even more over the long term. 

  1. Don’t Put All your Eggs in One Basket

Although there’s nothing wrong with being more on the conservative side when investing your hard earned cash, you should ensure that your funds are invested in a number of different ways – diversification is essential if you’d like to see your investments grow as much as possible. 

When diversification is approached correctly with a knowledgeable financial advisor, it provides your funds with the opportunity to double, triple or even quadruple over time. A good combination of funds can include your 401(k), a regular IRA and the purchase of shares in companies that are performing well – potential returns on a portfolio like this are virtually limitless. 

Over time, you may also want to think about investing in property to further diversify your portfolio. 

The right time to take a look at your savings and investment portfolio is right now. If you’re unsure of how to get started with making the right investment choices, contact our team for assistance today.

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singles planning retirement

How Singles can Plan for Retirement

Several younger individuals are usually so focused on climbing the career ladder and coping with life in general that they don’t give much thought to their golden years – especially if they’re not yet in a committed relationship. However, the sooner a plan is set in place for your retirement, the less you’ll have to stress about whether you’ll have enough to live on during this time or not. 

  1. Start Saving as much as you can

If you’re still single, you should start saving as much as you are permitted to each year in any tax-deferred accounts you may already have. This may sound impossible or seem highly inconvenient right now, but the truth is that you won’t have financial assistance of any sort from a partner to cover expenses such as rent or mortgage payments and other essentials.

You should also start right away with building an emergency fund that consists of between three and six months worth of expenses because once again, you won’t have the security of a partner’s income if you happen to become ill or injured in such a way that you cannot work for a while. 

  1. Think about a Second Income Stream

If you’re currently finding it difficult to max out the tax deferred savings options that are available to you or you don’t have enough funds to start an emergency fund, you may have to consider the option of taking on a second job – even temporarily. 

A second form of income can be a literal lifesaver, especially if you are in the process of repaying any type of consumer debt or student loans. After all, you certainly don’t want to reach retirement age and still have various forms of debt to repay on a severely limited income. 

  1. Ensure that your Finances are Protected

Singles are also far more prone to financial ruin if they are suddenly not able to work anymore for whatever reason. For instance, if you become ill in your 30s or 40s, you would have to have some form of financial backup in place so that you can continue meeting your needs well into retirement. 

When you purchase any type of disability protection policy, it’s crucial to check that it will in fact cover you for as long as you need it to – a number of cheaper policy options will only pay out for a limited period of time. As such, it’s strongly recommended that you enlist the help of a qualified and reputable financial advisor before signing on the dotted line. 

If you’re still single, planning for your retirement shouldn’t be a stressful process, especially when taking the advice above into consideration. If you spend and invest wisely while you’re still working, you’ll be able to relax and at least spend time doing some of the things you enjoy most after retiring. To learn more about how to invest wisely for your retirement years, contact our friendly team for assistance today. 

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Money Saving Apps

5 Apps that can Help you Save More Money

When it comes to saving for retirement, a number of individuals claim that they either don’t have the time to plan for this part of their lives or that they need some form of assistance to get started. If you find that you’re someone who is also putting off saving and making every excuse imaginable, you may be able to get started quickly and easily by using any one (or more) of the apps mentioned below. 

  1. Acorn

One of the main reasons why so many individuals don’t invest money is because they don’t completely understand how the process works or they feel anxious about taking that first step. 

This app works by rounding up your spending to the closest dollar and putting the leftover change into an investment of sorts. Getting started with Acorn is easy – all you have to do is link a checking account and credit card and the app will do the rest for you. Several individuals have stated that they enjoy this form of investment because it’s easy to work with and literally only a few pennies at a time are being invested. 

  1. Simple

This app comes with a fee-free debit card that is directly linked to a dedicated checking account and it has the ability to perform a range of budgeting functions on your behalf. It will subtract any incoming bills, allowing you to set various financial goals and keep you up to date regarding whether you’re on your way to achieving them or not. 

Simple also lets you know how much money you have left for investing, ensuring that you don’t end up spending funds that have been put aside for emergency use. 

  1. Stash

Stash allows you to get started on your investment journey without the need to have a lot of money available. In fact, you’re able to invest amounts of as little as $5 and a short questionnaire not only helps determine an investment-related risk level that you’re comfortable with; it provides you with various investment options to choose from at the same time. 

This app allows you to be in total control of your investment so that you can make choices that you’re comfortable with along the way. 

  1. Digit

This app links directly to your chosen bank account and you receive regular text messages about how your balance is changing. In addition, it informs you of any frivolous spending habits you have but may not realize.

Another feature of Digit is that it will provide you with realistic recommendations with regards to the amount of money you could be saving and if desired, you can even set the app up in such a way that it automatically transfers a predetermined amount of money into a dedicated savings account daily, weekly or monthly. 

If you’re brand new to investing or you would like to find out more about the options that are available to help grow your money as much as possible, speak to our team today. 

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