• Start saving as early as possible.
• Work with a financial adviser.
• Address your risk tolerance.
• Be prepared for market fluctuation.
• Always keep in mind that wealth isn’t created overnight.
For a typical 45-year-old, Sexton says a diverse and healthy financial portfolio would be balanced throughout many asset classes. “What is diverse for one may not be appropriately diversified for another. Every situation is unique and a financial adviser can help you navigate what is right for you.”
Financial advisers Thomas “Blake” Burrill and Greg Lone agree about starting retirement planning as early as possible. “The most powerful tool ever invented is the time value of money,” says Burrill, who has more than 10 years of experience in taxes and four years in the investment and insurance industries. “That being said, if you are 45 and just starting your retirement planning—don’t worry, it’s not too late.”
Lone advises paying yourself first: When you get your paycheck, set aside a percentage that you divide into several areas. Dedicate a small portion each month to your emergency fund to take care of unexpected expenses. Another portion should be put toward medium- to long-term goals such as children’s college or a new house. The bulk of your paycheck to yourself should be put into your retirement investments. Lone, who has 23 years of experience in investment and insurance advising, emphasizes the time-honored adage: No one plans to fail, but so many of us fail to plan.
Burrill and Lone also advise looking at retirement plans offered through your employer. They recommend contributing the maximum amount the company will match. They liken that match to getting a 100 percent return on your money right from the start. Yet they advise against contributing to the company plan beyond what the company matches, saying that many other investment opportunities outside of the company plan usually will better suit your individual investment parameters. Burrill and Lone recommend sitting down with a financial planner who has experience working with clients of a similar age and investment objectives as your own.