What do you want to do when you're done working?
Get a job at the Home Depot? Or drive Ferraris, travel around the world, stay in the best hotels, buy nice things for your family members, etc.?
My guess is the latter... And I can help you get there.
Building a wealthy retirement doesn't happen the way you think it does.
It's only partially about income. And it's only a tiny bit about investments and financial accounts and all that stuff.
It's a mental game. It's about having the self-control, discipline, and foresight to put together your plan and stick to it.
You must realize that it's your duty as a responsible, self-reliant person to save your way out of a paycheck-to-paycheck existence. If you want to have a break at any point in your life, it's up to you.
Have you ever had one of those long days where you rush through work, you get home and look forward to putting your feet up and having a drink, but then you realize you've got a hundred other things to do before you can relax? The next thing you know, it's the following morning and you're back at your desk.
Without a financial plan, that won't just be a bad day... that'll be your life.
I hope you realize by now that no one is going to take care of you but you.
Employers don't offer pensions anymore... And pensions promised to earlier generations – both public and private – are in dire financial straits. We're not fearmongers who like to claim that Social Security is about to be bankrupt (a few tax hikes will fix it – as unpleasant as that may be)... but we don't want to bet our financial future on it.
We haven't been promised anything, and those monthly checks won't exactly make you a high roller, anyway.
You've got to do this yourself.
But here's the good thing... while your financial plan is extraordinarily important, it's not extraordinarily difficult.
Folks outside of finance often think that investing success comes from hot stock tips or being glued to CNBC. That's not really the case.
For most retirement investors, you've just got to sort out a simple asset allocation that suits your needs.
Asset allocation is how you balance your wealth among broad asset classes like stocks, bonds, cash, real estate, commodities, and gold. Keeping your wealth diversified across a mix of investable assets is the key to avoiding losses.
Let's say the stock market has a bad five or 10 years and heads downward. (It's going to happen sometimes. We just don't know when.) You can smooth out your returns and have a more predictable pile of wealth at the end by using asset allocation.
Investors at every stage need to think about asset allocation, but it gets more important the closer you get to retirement.
The 20- or 30-year-old has plenty of time to let his or her wealth build back up through savings and investment. You, the 50-year-old, do not. That's money you're about to count on for living expenses.
Seeing it get cut by 20%, 30%, or 50% hurts... bad.
When you're thinking about retirement, focus on risk and smart asset allocation.
Most folks just think about two asset classes: stocks and bonds.
Stocks represent partial ownership in a business. The hope is that their value will grow over time and you can earn some dividends along the way.
Bonds are loans to businesses that pay interest. They are much less volatile and provide income, but you're not going to see big gains like you may during a bull market in stocks.
You can invest simply in stocks and bonds through mutual funds or exchange-traded funds. And by combining the two, you can make your portfolio grow faster or have less risk.
Sometimes, it works to follow conventional wisdom while saving for retirement...
You've probably heard about the "60/40" allocation for your entire adult life: Put 60% of your investment portfolio in stocks and the other 40% in bonds.
In normal market conditions, that traditional allocation works great. The stocks provide growth but greater risk, and they're balanced against the safety of modest, predictable bond yields.
But sometimes, this rigid model is a disaster for your retirement... You could spend a lifetime squirreling away your savings in a 60/40 allocation, only to come up short if the markets turn against you just before you retire.
We don't think your entire income in retirement should come down to blind luck. That's why we've developed an entirely new system that we call the Intelligent Retirement model for my monthly advisory, Income Intelligence.
Yesterday, during a special Retirement Wake-Up Call, I explained why it's time to rethink conventional retirement wisdom and how the Intelligent Retirement model can save your retirement.
I also revealed the real crisis brewing in America that no one is talking about right now. Look, I've traded through some of the worst crises in financial history... I was even on Goldman Sachs' trading desk on Black Monday in 1987. But I believe this crisis will likely be the most devastating of my career. (And yes, today's rising inflation plays a big role.)
Along the way, I (with the help of my surprise special guest) also answered the big questions you submitted about inflation, tax hikes, and the best places to put your money right now for the highest, lowest-risk returns.
If you haven't seen it yet, I urge you to watch it right here.
What We're Reading...
- Did you miss it? Retirement is much more expensive than most folks realize.
- Something different: Has the zodiac killer code been cracked?
Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,
Dr. David Eifrig and the Health & Wealth Bulletin Research Team
June 24, 2021