Investing retirement money wisely is crucial if you want to make sure you can enjoy your golden years stress-free rather than working until you drop dead of a heart attack from stress. Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but you still would be wise to heed About.com‘s advice, even if you’re just embarking on your career, to make sure you don’t spend your senior years eating cat food.
It’s important to understand how investing affects your money. You’ll need to have a diversified portfolio developed based on an asset allocation model that dictates how much of your money should be in stocks versus bonds. When deciding what percentage of your money to put where, remember that you need to look at your rate of return over your life, not over a short period.
Recognize that there are trade offs with any investment. A safe investment will provide a a guaranteed return, but it will be much lower. A riskier investment will give you a higher rate of return, but you also have the potential to lose money. If you follow the diversified model, it will include some safe investments, some that will produce income now, and some that should grow and provide you with income in the years to come.
Consult with a professional on where to put your money, or at least do your research through books or the internet. The best way to avoid making mistakes is to avoid being greedy. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Higher than normal returns just don’t keep happening on a continuous basis. Also, make sure you have a plan before you make your final decision on where to put your money. You need to be sure you’ll have a steady monthly income when it’s time to trade in work for a margarita on the beach.