You made it. You finally made it!
Whether you crossed the finish line triumphantly or with a big sigh of relief, you made it.
While your days won't be filled with going to the office you can't completely give up your past responsibilities. In particular, you need to manage your nest egg – it's all you have to generate income unless you want to go back to work.
Below I have a bunch of resources organized just for you. Find what interests you most and take action. Retirement doesn't have to be just a dream, it can be reality.
Even though you're now retired, that doesn't mean you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Well, actually it does mean that, but not all the way.
Retirement comes with a big responsibility: managing investments. Even if your retirement portfolio has been doing well over the years, wouldn't you like it to continue to do well and perhaps do even better?
Sure you would.
That's why I'd like to point out a few articles that can help you get the most out of your investments. Enjoy!
Learn How Your Savings Stacks Up
First off, you're probably wondering how your savings stacks up against the “competition.” Well, let me tell you, if you have enough money to live off for the rest of your retirement, you're doing very, very well.
Take a look at: Average Retirement Savings by Age – How Does Your Savings Stack Up?] You'll be surprised by how little money most people have saved for retirement.
Manage Investments in One Place
Chances are, if you're a retiree, you have a bunch of accounts in different places. Isn't it a pain?
Did you know you can manage all of your accounts in one place? That's right, it's called Personal Capital. Read my review here: Personal Capital Review – Managing All Your Investments in One Place. I personally use this software, and I love it.
Invest with Confidence
At retirement, the last thing you want is to see your portfolio shrink due to poor investments. I understand.
Did you know you can actually invest with confidence? There are plenty of ways to invest without taking a huge risk with your money. Read How to Invest $100,000 with Confidence.
Also, be sure to take a look at some safe places to invest during retirement. Some of them might surprise you!
If you want to invest some money but know you'll need it soon, don't worry, there are other retirees that are in the same boat.
There are some great short-term investment options that can help you invest money but won't lock up your access to the funds.
Read all about these options in my article: The 11 Best Short Term Investments for Your Money.
Invest Large Sums of Money
Occasionally, retirees will come across a large sum of money through the sale of a business or another asset. What does a retiree do with all this money?
Hopefully, they won't blow it. Don't blow it!
If I had a million dollars to invest, there's a certain way I'd do it. Read my strategy here: How to Invest One Million Dollars Safely.
From time to time I like to showcase a few of the people I've come into contact with so you can learn their stories and how they achieved retirement success. Check it out.
Retire Early With $1 Million
One couple I know wanted to find out if they could retire early with $1 million. Was is possible? Guess what? According to my calculations, they had a 92% probability that they would be able to accomplish their goal of retiring early.
Read their story here: [Case Study] Can You Retire Early with Only 1 Million Dollars?
Retire With $2 Million
Some people question if $1 million is enough. Granted, costs have gone up over time and will probably continue to do so. Is $2 million enough?
Check out this case study I published on Forbes: Can You Retire With $2 Million?
Annuities are one of the most complex investment tools available on the market. And, there are many different types of annuities. To help you understand annuities, here's a compilation of some of my best work on the subject of annuities.
Used properly, annuities offer some attractive benefits to investors. Benefits include:
More from GFC, Below
- Tax deferral
- Principal protection
- Guaranteed lifetime income benefits
- Supplementary long-term care coverage
While there are benefits to buying an annuity, there are downsides as well. But every situation is different. Make sure you read: 15 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Buy an Annuity – (And 5 Real Life Scenarios When You Should).
Important Questions Before You Buy an Annuity
As mentioned, there are different kinds of annuities. Don't assume that because you heard some good things about annuities that those features will be available in all annuities.
Here are a few of the most important questions you'll want to ask:
- How long is the term of the annuity?
- What are the surrender charges?
- Is the annuity guaranteed, and if so, by whom?
To learn more about why you'd want to ask these questions and to learn a few more important questions to ask, be sure to read: 5 Questions to Ask *Before* You Buy an Annuity. There's a podcast too so you can learn while doing the dishes or any other chore you fancy. 😉
If you don't research annuities before you buy them, you might be stuck with a lemon for longer than you want.
In fact, there's a certain type of annuity that I really don't like: variable annuities. The fees are ridiculous and sometimes people don't even know they're paying the fees.
Experts agree with me that variable annuities are pretty horrible. They're oversold, they have high fees, and they're complex.
You can read more about the various types of annuities in my article: Are Annuities a Good Investment? The Good, Bad, and Real Ugly.
You can read about how one woman paid over $3,500 in variable annuity fees and didn't even know it. It was pretty ridiculous. To her credit, she knew something fishy might have been going on, and when we looked into it together, there certainly was.
Make sure you understand how financial advisors get paid before you invest.
Young People and Annuities
For young people, annuities hardly make sense. Some insurance agents like to sell parents on getting a fixed annuity for their child (happened to my mom).
In fact, many young people are just better off with a high-yield savings account rather than a fixed annuity. They have short-term goals and really don't need the complexity of a fixed annuity. To learn more about annuities and young people, read Is an Annuity the Worst Investment a Young Person Can Make? I'll give you a hint: Roth IRAs might be a better choice.
How to Get Out of a Bad Annuity
There are a number of ways to get out of a bad annuity. Some are easier than others.
Sometimes there are tax implications when you get out of an annuity so make sure to do your homework.
You'll also want to cut down on surrender charges if possible.
Cashing out your annuity is an option, but there are penalties. I was asked a few years ago if it was smart to cash out an annuity and here's my response. You'll want to read that.
For more information on how to get out of a bad annuity, read my aptly named article: How to Get Out of a Bad Annuity (without breaking the bank).
Social Security is an important part of retirement. Nevertheless, I don't recommend that people rely on Social Security income as their sole income source in retirement.
Here's what you need to know about Social Security.
Did you know that you can actually maximize your Social Security benefits? It's true.
It's all about timing. Generally, the earlier you take your benefits, the less you'll get. It's important to wait as long as possible so that you can maximize your Social Security benefits. In order to do that, it's a good idea to have a retirement nest egg you can rely on so you won't have to take your money early.
For the details, see How to Maximize Your Social Security Income (and avoid these 6 costly mistakes).
Spouses are entitled to their spouse's Social Security benefits. But there are some things you need to know before you take these benefits.
Take a look at my article on the topic: Social Security Spousal Benefits Rules: Retirement Income for the One You Love.
More Information on Retirement
Looking for more retirement articles? Be sure to check out RetirementbyJeff.com for more articles specifically for those who are in retirement.
Also, check out The Confident Retirement Toolkit. You'll love it.