Retirement Planning: Start Now With 4 Smart Investment Tips

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I’ve teamed up with Consumer Reports to share about retirement planning and am proud to be one of their paid brand ambassadors; my personal opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Consumer Reports.

Think retirement planning is for the elderly? Think again! Preparing as early as possible for your financial future not only helps ensure you have the funds you need in your later years, but also brings peace of mind both now and down the road.

Retirement Planning

Peace of mind sounds really appealing, but let’s talk about reality. After wrangling the kids to get their homework done, trying to reach our goal of more regular family mealtimes, and running after that always evasive “me time,” finding the time to research and make smart investment choices can be overwhelming. Can you relate?

Retirement Planning: A Quick and Easy Way to Get Started

The good news is that Consumer Reports makes getting started easy with its articles and guides. But before we get to the good stuff, let me share one personal recommendation.

For me, the first step to taking control of my financial future was to simplify the process. Every time the word “investment” popped into my mind, I would freeze. I felt ill-equipped to even research the topic. And this is coming from someone who has an MBA. So I decided to simplify and follow my dad’s example by creating a personal affairs binder, otherwise known as a retirement planning binder. In a nutshell, this binder stores information like your bills, insurance, and will among many other things all in one easy-to-find place. The reason it’s such a great first step is it helps you get really organized, which immediately reduces overwhelm (at least it did mine!).

Check out my retirement planning step-by-step process for a simple way to collect everything you need in one place on my post over on my personal site, Dadventurous.com.

Retirement Planning: 4 Tools to Making Smart Investment Decisions

Now, let’s turn our attention to Consumer Reports. Why Consumer Reports? If you are thinking they are all about ratings and reviews, think again. The website is chock full of information about all sorts of things including, you guessed it: retirement planning. Click here to learn more about all that Consumer Reports has to offer.

After you’ve gathered and organized your pertinent retirement planning information, you are ready to start your financial planning.

Regardless of where you are on the retirement planning spectrum, whether you have taken one step or are well down the path. These four tools take the guesswork out of your financial retirement planning:

1. Learn how to manage a 401(k).

Retirement Planning If you work for a company that includes retirement benefits, you may already have a 401(k) started. Great job! Figuring out how to manage your 401(k) investment may feel like rocket science. To avoid making costly mistakes with this form of investment, such as choosing high-fee investments or prematurely withdrawing money, check out this article by Consumer Reports, sharing the five 401(k) mistakes you can’t afford to keep on making.

2. Identify how much you should be saving for retirement.

When it comes to retirement planning, awareness is an essential step to taking control of your financial future. So, even though it may make you cringe, knowing where you are at now in regards to how much you have saved for retirement versus how much you need to have saved is really critical. Why? You can’t make wise investment decisions if you don’t know how much you need to be saving. This article on Consumer Reports will let you know whether you are on the right track for retirement or whether you should make some changes.

3. Assess your financial knowledge.

Once you are aware of how much you should be saving, you need to learn the basics of financial investing. While there are entire books on this subject, taking this simple quiz will let you know your financial education strengths and weaknesses.

4. Educate yourself on inclusions to consider for your retirement planning.

Keep in mind that retirement planning is more than investing. Consumer Reports’ Retirement Planning Guide shares expert advice on all the elements that contribute to a good retirement: saving and investing; planning; maintaining your health; identifying activities and work to suit you; and, of course, being a savvy consumer.

While your senior years may be many years, or even decades, in the future, now is the time to start retirement planning.

What retirement planning tips and/or tools do you recommend?

About Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports is a nonprofit, independent organization that helps consumers with life’s big decisions and the everyday ones in between by providing unbiased, independent, and trusted reviews and ratings on products and services.  Most people don’t realize that subscriptions alone don’t cover the full cost of Consumer Reports product testing and research work. Consumer Reports buys all the products it tests and does not accept any advertising; this ensures the organization remains completely independent and not under any corporate influence.

Click here to support CR today (until December 31, 2016) and your tax-deductible contribution will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $30,000 by two generous donors. Your contribution will allow Consumer Reports to continue to empower consumers and their families.

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A frequent contributor to Mom It Forward, Troy's home base is http://Dadventurous.com where he has been know to wax poetic on topics ranging from wax to poets. Trivia: Troy once won a trip to Europe by utilizing a high-powered TV camera, 65,000 of his closest friends, and an eager-to-please Dalmatian named Rebel. Well, that's part of the story at least.

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