As a veteran, you have unique retirement planning needs and goals. You may be looking to retire sooner than the average person or want to ensure that your hard-earned benefits last throughout your lifetime. There are so many retirement investing strategies out there. They can be confusing and we want to make them easy to understand.
Many situations veterans run into are not typical and warrant extra help and benefits from the U.S. government. There are also specific financial programs for veterans that can help in terms of pre-retirement and post-retirement income. For more information on financial programs for veterans click here.
For this article, we aren’t going into the programs set up for veterans but rather the strategies veterans should employ for retirement outside the programs offered by the government. The best retirement investing strategies for veterans are strategies that apply to everyone regardless of their career choice.
Top Investing Strategies For Retirement
Create A Retirement Plan
Starting with a plan is typically the best way to help you decipher how much you’ll need, and it will be easier to figure out the rest of your retirement strategies. It will help you stay on track with your retirement savings goals. You should revisit your plan every 5-10 years to ensure your objectives and needs remain the same; if not, you should adjust the plan.
Save Early And Often
The sooner you start saving for retirement, the better. If you can, start saving while you are still in the military. Start as soon as you leave service, if possible.
The earlier you save for retirement, the more time your money has to grow. It is crazy the difference time and compounded interest makes.
Automatically saving is the most straightforward and effective way to save for retirement. Set up your savings so that a certain percentage of your paycheck is deposited into your retirement account each pay period. It is so easy to find reasons not to contribute when you have the money in hand. Conversely, when it is automatically removed from your paycheck to your retirement accounts, it typically stays there.
Create A Budget
A budget will help you make the most of your money and ensure you are saving enough for retirement. Creating a budget will help you find areas where you can cut back and put more into retirement. Make sure to include all of your sources of income and expenses, both fixed and variable.
Max Out Your 401k
If your employer offers a 401k, contribute as much as possible. The sooner you start contributing, the more time your money has to grow.
Diversify Your Investments
Diversifying your assets is one of the most critical retirement investing strategies. By diversifying, you can help protect yourself from market volatility and ensure that you have a mix of investments that can grow over time.
Diversifying doesn’t mean just buying single stocks. It means purchasing a mix of stocks, bonds, and other investments. Other investments can consist of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Diversify further by investing in tangible assets like real estate and precious metals or non-traditional investments like loans and private equity.
Check out our retirement planning guide for more strategies for a solid retirement plan.
Maximize These Strategies with a Self-Directed IRA
A self-directed IRA allows you to choose from a wide range of investments, including real estate, precious metals, and private equity. And because self-directed IRAs are not subject to the same high fees as traditional retirement accounts, they can help you keep more of your money working for you.
Because self-directed IRAs offer a wide range of investment possibilities, they are perfect for diversifying your retirement portfolio. They come with all the same advantages as standard traditional and Roth IRA accounts, pre or post-tax contributions, tax-deferred or tax-free growth.
The Bottom Line
Veterans, as well as anyone else, should strongly think about the future and their retirement needs. Many retirement strategies work, but it is usually the best to keep it simple and diversified.
Regardless of your retirement goals, ensure you start saving early and often. The sooner you start, the more time your money has to grow. And don’t forget, a self-directed IRA can help you diversify your retirement portfolio and hedge against the downturns of traditional investments that you more than likely have enough of.
Contact us at Accuplan if you want to learn more about how a self-directed IRA can work. Accuplan would be happy to help.