Thursday, August 18, 2011

General Retirement Advice

It is estimated you will need a minimum of $1,000,000 to cover your monthly expenses during your retirement years. The average Americans live 10-20 years after retirement. You will need at least 80% of your income during retirement.

If you are stressed and anxious reduce your investments in stocks and bonds, however when the market returns you will lose money when moving your investments back to stocks and bonds because the prices will be higher. Investing in individual stocks on your own is risky. Consult a financial advisor to ensure you minimize losses and maximize gains. Here are some general retirement tips to ensure you enjoy your retirement.

Diversify at a minimum:
Pre-retirement invest 60% stocks, 40% bonds/cash; near retirement (5-10 years) invest 40% stocks, 60% bonds/cash; during retirement invest 20% stocks, 80% bonds/cash.

What to invest in:
1. Invest in emerging market funds (foreign markets)
2. Equities (mutual funds) or other items that return a dividend or capital gains
3. Pharmaceuticals
4. Oil and petroleum
5. Commodities (corn, soy, wheat, coffee beans, petroleum, copper, coal, salt, sugar, soy beans, aluminum, rice, gold, silver, palladium, platinum, electricity, gas, oil, etc.). However some commodities are overpriced right now and should only be invested in when the prices are low.
6. Bonds (corporate or treasury)
7. Real estate, however keep in mind if the price is low it can continue to decrease but over a long period of time you will gain equity and can make a profit
8. Defensive stocks (don’t depend on economic prosperity) - food and beverage industry, manufacturing companies such as Philip Morris, Proctor & Gamble, alcohol and tobacco
9. Under-priced stocks (offer price is lower than price of the first trade, however they carry a higher risk factor because they may not rise in the future) – IPO’s, airline stocks, small cap stocks, etc.
10. Money Market Accounts/CDs – use these for an emergency fund savings account for unexpected expenses
11. Utility stocks – water, gas, electric, telephone companies
12. Green technology and green energy stocks for long-term gains such as Canon, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Nike, Whole Foods, Google, etc.

How to Save:
1. CDs
2. Money Market Accounts (MMAs)
3. Bonds
4. Online Savings Accounts
a. CD current interest rates nationwide go up to 1.27% (AloStar Bank of Commerce NR for $1,000 minimum balance) and Money Market Accounts rates nationwide go up to 1.05% (First Trade Union Bank for $1,000 minimum balance). Online Savings account interest rates go up to 1.15% (Discover Bank High Yield Savings Account for $500 minimum balance).
5. Create an emergency fund to cover monthly bills and expenses for nine to twelve months.
6. Pay down debt
7. If you receive government benefits/checks think of at least 1 additional way to generate additional income if your check is last or does not arrive at all due to the debt ceiling
8. Contribute extra to your 401(k) or other retirement type account now. Money you invest now can buy more fund shares which will provide you with additional gains when the market goes back up

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