Will You Ever Be Able To Retire – Will you find yourself leaving the workforce early to be able to retire? For most people, that will never happen, but the dream can stay alive as long as you manage your finances. It’s a big step to plan head and it takes years to take yourself from a steady income into financial independence.
But even if you accept that this is the way things are supposed to be — even if this is your dream — to work for 40 years, accumulate a nice nest egg, then retire, for a growing number of Americans the recession means that this dream might not ever come.
Many people who are ages 50 and 60 are not able to do this because they are in a very bad place. Their 401k and other savings have lost a lot of value. Their homes are either foreclosed or they don’t hold the same value they once did in 2008. In fact, none of them are eligible yet for Medicare, and that has them worried.
How can we make sure this will never happen again for the next generation? We are told that we should invest in the stock market, because it’s the only way to beat inflation and to grow our money in the long term. This is very true, but it’s important to remember that the market works in cycles, and that those cycles can be brutal.
Generally, most investors believe that the best thing you can do is to invest in the stock market for several decades. Be a “buy and hold” investor, rebalancing your portfolio once a year but don’t try to time the market. You can only take that reward from medium and long-term growth. There are no shortcuts.
However, when you reach the age of 50, then it’s time to start pulling out. This means you will gradually pull out of the market during the next decade or within 15 years. If you are able to buy real estate for a rental property investment, that can be a great source of income, but treat your stocks as long-term investments, or you might not ever get the chance to retire.