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Yesterday, we began revealing how a person can include investigating in a percentage-based budget. This is important because your investments should grow as your income grows. This is how to make sure you remember your future while enjoying your present…

Earlier we mention using the well-known (for a reason) investment shelters known as the 401(k) (and its variants such as the 403(b) and the IRA/Roth IRA. Today, we dive into the creative ways to invest money. Knowing about these can turn your portfolio from so-so to go-go because you’ll be able to travel, spend time with the grand kids, hit the golf course, or of course start a business.

Remember to explore all of the following options if you want to get the most out of your retirement. Remember that just a few hours of planning can result in thousands of dollars earned and saved by the time you reach retirement. So if you want to essentially get paid thousands of dollars for reading this article, here you go:

Your Own Investment Shelters

After you’ve maxed out your 401(k) and Roth/Traditional IRA, you will likely want to find another option. The first place to go is by looking at your own investment shelters like SEP IRA’s or self-employed 401(k)’s. But these IRA’s can only accept money that was earned via your own business. So if you’re earning extra income via your own business, you can tuck away money in these places as well.

What You Know Thus Far….

You know roughly how much you should invest for your future. You know it’s important to let this number remain true through the years so you remain on track to do well in retirement. You know that you have options for where to tuck away these funds. Now you need to know your priorities.

A Budget Doesn’t Work Unless It’s Not Holistic

Let’s say your number is 12%. You want to invest 12% towards retirement no matter what. But should you set that number without consulting the other facets of your budget? What about food, housing, transportation, etc.?

On the surface, it seems you should start with food. That’s your most basic need. Then move up from there. Obviously, your future is the least important aspect as it’s not even something you’re currently battling. But you may want to consider turning the tables. Paying yourself first, as many call it.

By setting your investment number first, you are backfilling your life (so to speak). This means the future will be fantastic. And you’ll be able to figure out a way to make it through the present.

Go Ahead and Work to One Hundred

Set your target investment number. Know which investment vehicles the money will flow into as earn you earn more and more. This is important since 10% today is sure a lot different than 10% tomorrow. Finally, determine the rest of your budget.

Remember — if you read this article you are either successful or quickly becoming successful. So no need to set your number so high that you’ll have way more than you’ll ever possibly need for retirement.

But of course, if you want to leave a legacy, go ahead and save as much as is comfortable. Some people say you cannot take the money to the grave. But that’s perfectly fine for many people. They are perfectly happy leaving it behind to help those it can still help.

Remember if you underestimate how much you will want to have for retirement, it can be detrimental to you. But if you overestimate, it will help others.

Investing for retirement is often about more than just ourselves.

Now, which investment vehicle(s) will you use as part of your percentage-based budget?

William Lipovsky owns the personal finance website First Quarter Finance. His most embarrassing moment was telling a Microsoft executive, "I'll just Google it."

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