While you’re never too old or too young to save for retirement, your age and your risk aversion (primarily determined by your age), are important factors in how you save. A 30-something college graduate with a lucrative career has time to choose low-risk, moderate-return savings programs, but can also safely take a risk here and there with a fairly substantial portion of his or her discretionary income. A baby boomer working part time in an urgent effort to increase retirement funds cannot afford much risk.
Here are some retirement ideas from Credit Logon for the two most prominent generations:
Great Retirement Plans for Millennials
- Whole life insurance policy – While this might seem a strange choice, there are numerous reasons that buying whole life is a good investment. While many young folks ignore this option, especially if they have no one who will be negatively impacted by the loss of their income, buying a whole life plan during one’s healthy youth usually offers a dirt-free monthly premium for the life of the policy. Its value as retirement savings is in its accrual of monetary value, which can be borrowed against, usually at a competitively low rate. The policy can be terminated as well, with a return of the current value at time of sale.
- DRIPS – It’s formal name is Dividend Reinvestment Plan. A DRIP allows the investor to purchase stocks, setting up an automated process that uses accrued dividend payments to buy more shares of the same stock. Most DRIPS also allow investors to make one-time cash deposits to their DRIP accounts. One of the greatest advantages of a DRIP program is the ability to bypass a broker fee, instead purchasing directly from the company. The investor can choose from a variety of low and high-risk stocks, creating a customized portfolio with the right balance for her or his situation.
Great Retirement Plans for 50+ Folks
Certificates of Deposit – While CDs do not offer high interest return, they are extremely low risk, while still offering higher rates than standard savings accounts. Additionally, there are many maturation options, allowing an investor to save a portion in a six-month CD, a bit more in a one-year CD, and the bulk in a higher-yield five-year certificate, for example. Should there be an emergency, the investment funds can be returned nearly immediately, and in some situations without penalty. The best CD rates are with online-only savings banks, which avoid the cost of maintaining brick and mortar locations and pass that savings on to their members.
Treasury Bonds – The minimum maturity time period for these federal bonds is ten years, though they pay dividends semi-annually. Backed by the U.S. government, a treasury bond is virtually risk-free. The minimum purchase is $1,000. For those who can’t wait 10 years to recoup their money, there are two other federally-backed options, and both offer fixed interest rates. A treasury bill matures in one year. A treasury note has various maturity dates from two to ten years.
For those who fall between these two age groups, a mix of the various options above can work well. A 40-year-old with a few hundred dollars to spare each month might, for example, purchase a risk-free 20 or even 30-year Treasury bond. He or she could then balance that out with considerably more risk, in the hopes of high yield, by buying into DRIPS of two or three untested stocks in innovative new technology firms.
The crucial factor, when deciding on a retirement portfolio, is your age, as it determines how much risk you can take with your discretionary funds. Choosing the right portion of each plan in your portfolio can be as important as your choice of plans.