Keeping a check on how your nest egg is invested
One of the most important stepping stones on the path to financial freedom is having a plan, and knowing where your money is going. However, recent surveys show that a substantial number of Americans actually aren't sure how their nest egg is invested, which can lead to a litany of unpleasant surprises come retirement.
Let’s see some stats
- About half (49%) of all survey respondents (ages 60-67) indicated that they didn’t know how their retirement fund was allocated.
- For the non-retired near retirement age group of 60-67, 39% of men were unsure of how their investments were divided up, in comparison to 59% of women who said the same.
- 35% of male respondents suggested they’d spent a good deal of time planning intentionally for retirement, whereas only 17% of women answered similarly.
- 60% of the 60-67 club also said they didn’t have enough savings to be planning for retirement, 14% were unsure, and 26% said they were financially prepared.
So, what can we gather from this?
It's the fact that planning ahead is critical for our long-term financial future.
Data shows many are putting off retirement planning due to concerns about healthcare costs, potential market downturns, thinking they can’t afford the lifestyle they hope for, or simply not knowing what to invest in. These perceived barriers to entry or complexities can cause us to become avoidant, and unfortunately end up as unprepared retirees.
Let’s get prepared though, one step at a time.
Almost any task can be accomplished when taken one step at a time with relentless consistency, no matter how insurmountable it seems. Oftentimes after getting started, you realize it wasn’t even that hard after all. Planning for the future is the same way, and can be made simple by breaking it down.
- Spend some time thinking on it: In order to plan with intentionality, you have to first think on it. Imagine your ideal future and what that would entail financially. Consider when you’d like to retire, the kind of lifestyle you want, your health, and the variables unique to you.
- Start with the basics: Or heck, you can finish with them too. Basic, simple retirement investing is one of the best and safest strategies out there. Look into target-date retirement funds, which periodically adjust your investments allocations over time via a glide path determined by your projected retirement year. Also, consider model portfolios or work with an investment advisor to get more ideas.
- Learn perpetually: With everything there is a learning curve, and investing is certainly no exception. Although it can take some time, familiarizing yourself with all the terms, habits, rules, tax implications, caveats, and so on, will only continue to benefit your knowledge exponentially over time.