This time of year typically causes us to be thankful for all we have in life—from our families to our jobs to health and happiness—and the list goes on and on. We suggest adding another thing to that list, which is being thankful for the returns on investments in your retirement account. At a time when we are all warm and fuzzy and surrounded by the things that really matter in life, this may sound mercenary. And, in fact, it is. Because the truth is, if you’re not garnering healthy returns now—you’re golden years may not be as comfortable as you’d like them to be.
The winter holiday months give us many reasons to be thankful. Not that we shouldn’t be thankful every other day of the year, but Thanksgiving and Christmas are times when families and friends gather from near and far—and the laughter and closeness with those we hold dear makes us realize more than ever how grateful we are for what we have. When you take a good hard look at what matters in life, and your basic needs of happiness and health are hopefully met, well, what else matters?
Prosperity. That’s what. Prosperity matters just as much as health and happiness because if you can’t make ends meet at retirement age you may not even be able to retire. You may not be able to afford the basics, and then health care costs are going to put a dent in anything you’ve saved, too. Many like to say that money is the root of all evil and perhaps that’s true. But, that does not negate the simple fact that it takes money to survive.
This is why you need to be involved in planning your own retirement. Many people who have retirement plans have one through their employer, which is great. Other people may have individual accounts established through an investment firm, which is also great, and both options are better than having no plan at all. But, how in tune are you with the growth rate of these accounts? Are the investments others choose for you building the bountiful nest egg you need to retire? Is your portfolio properly diversified so that the returns on some assets help relieve the burden of losses on others?
These points are critical. The returns on the investments in your retirement plan are critical, especially if you’re an older American who doesn’t have the benefit of time on your side—which is often what it takes (and lots of it) to build a healthy portfolio on stocks and bonds alone. Which leads us right back to our original question: Are you thankful for the returns on the investments in your retirement plan?
If you’re answer is yes, then lucky you! However, if you’re not, then it’s time to make a change. Advanta IRA believes that in order to achieve true retirement utopia, you must know and understand the investments in your portfolio. You must take an active part in understanding how well the assets are building income in your account.
Every year you must evaluate the performance of your portfolio so that you can make the necessary adjustments moving forward to prosper.
Here are a few ways to ensure your retirement plan is working for you:
- Let go of assets that are underperforming and don’t be hesitant in doing so.
- Identify promising investments to take their place.
- Make sure your portfolio is properly diversified to help achieve success and to hedge your bets against any losses you may incur.
- Meet with your financial or tax advisor to help determine the status of your portfolio and develop a strategy moving forward.
- If you’re plan is with an employer or through a traditional broker and only offers specific assets, consider opening a self-directed retirement plan and give yourself control over your own retirement funds and investing decisions.
Self-directed plans allow you access to an incredibly large pool of alternative investments that can help you build retirement funds at a faster pace than traditional assets. These plans are controlled by the plan owner (you) and allow you to invest in what you know best.
Some alternative assets include:
- Real estate (residential, commercial, and foreign land)
- Precious metals (gold, silver, platinum, and palladium)
- Futures and foreign exchange trading
- Private equity and stock
- Oil, gas, and mineral options
- Private lending
- And much more…
Whether you decide to participate in self-directed investing or not, the above points about evaluating and aligning your current retirement plan with your goals is crucial to your success. Make it a priority every year. Put the health of your retirement plan on your thankful list and commit to making sure that every year, the returns on the investments in your retirement plan are definitely something you can be thankful for.
And, if you need any help with that…just let us know.
Advanta IRA is a self-directed retirement plan serving clients across the nation who hold over $700 million in assets. While we do not give investing advice, we do offer free events and other educational tools designed to teach investors how to use self-directed plans to invest in alternative assets to build retirement wealth. Our staff is friendly, experienced, and dedicated to ensuring each of our clients’ needs are met on a professional yet personal level.