Don’t Let Your Retirement Planning Get Derailed
Published on February 2, 2016
Stay on Track with a Self-Directed Retirement Plan.
We’ve all heard it before: improve your odds for a more comfortable retirement by staying focused with a solid financial plan. Sounds easy, but given the shifts in the markets, rising cost of living, and other factors (personal issues, family emergencies, etc.), it can be a challenge for many Americans. Here are some things to consider as you lay out your route to retirement.
You can’t fund your retirement years if you haven’t saved for them. Start early and save often; even a little bit every month adds up over time. Be disciplined and, if something comes up to disrupt your savings regimen, get back on track as soon as possible. A Boston College Center for Retirement study suggests a target of 15 percent of your income a year.
If you are older, nearing retirement age, and got a late start on funding your IRA or other retirement plan, you can always make catch-up contributions. Also, take a look at your discretionary spending to see if there are places to trim back the fat to keep your savings on track (or to ratchet it up).
Have an investing strategy that makes sense for you.
Find a financial adviser you trust and can work with to devise a plan that works for your lifestyle and unique situation. This includes the types of investments to make in your retirement portfolio as well as your tolerance for risk and your knowledge about various types of investments.
Fine-tune your retirement plan along the way.
Since your life will change over time—new careers, income levels, family situations, etc.—be sure to revise your retirement planning from time to time. Financial markets go up and down, health expenses may arise—there’s a lot to consider and so a periodic reassessment will serve you well.
Include nontraditional investments in your retirement plan.
If you’re someone who prefers to make your own investment decisions, and you want to include alternative assets in your retirement plan, opening a self-directed IRA is a great way to stay on track to meet your retirement goals. This is where understanding many different types of investments can help you get on a fast track to retirement wealth, depending on the kind of nontraditional investments you are familiar with.
Self-directed investors are including real estate, precious metals, unsecured loans, hedge funds, commodities and much more in their retirement plans—alternative assets they already know and understand, and are willing to thoroughly research before sending instructions to the plan administrator.
Self-direction enables savvy investors to choose a different track for their retirement route. At Next Generation Trust Services—a third-party administrator of self-directed retirement plans—we have clients who are including a broad array of non-publicly traded alternative assets within their plans. They research the investment, send us instructions in order to expedite the transaction, and we manage all the paperwork and filing related to the account.