A Squandered Opportunity

This is from the Wall Street Journal this week and it is absurd.  Millennials are missing out on the greatest edge they have investing – time.

Source: Start Now

Human Capital as an Asset

I recently read a post on the teachings of Benjamin Franklin by Tren Griffin at 25iq.  A great article about one of the most fascinating people in history.  In the section about important lessons Franklin taught us was the axiom “an investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”

An overlooked part of most people’s assets is the role of human capital in their lifetime earning ability.  Many people view education as a means to secure a job, when really it should be looked at as an asset that is carried with you throughout your life.  Your ability to earn a living is the most important determinant in the standard of living you will have during your working years and into retirement.

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How the Pundits Damage Your Long-term Plans

Great post by Josh Brown at The Reformed Broker about how listening to the market pundits can lead investors to abandon their investment plans to their detriment.

Let me wrap this up: 401(k) accounts are sacred, but they are not magic. They require a thoughtful person making decisions and behaving logically in order to work. The 401(k) users who have persevered through the large drawdowns of 15 and 7 years ago, while continuing to plug away with fresh contributions, are doing better than ever.

Source: The Farce Awakens

Only 1 in 10 Participants Contribute the Maximum to a 401(k)

According to the BlackRock Global Investor Pulse Survey, only 11% of 401(k) participants contribute the maximum allowed under the IRS limits.

The biggest fear clients facing retirement have is “am I going to run out of money?”  By the time clients get close to retirement it’s too late to do much about, other than delaying retirement, which never seems to be popular advice.

Today’s life expectancy in the US is approaching 80 years for both sexes (CDC website) so why do we think we can support 25 year retirements with only 30 year careers?   The answer is we can’t.  In order to support a 25 year retirement we need to put away a good portion of our income every year and take advantage of the power of compounding.

Tax advantaged savings plans, like the 401(k), offer the best vehicle for most people to save and invest for retirement.

  1. The deductions are automatic – You never even have a chance to spend the money because it’s deducted from your paycheck and deposited to your 401(k) account.
  2. Most plans have an employer match – FREE MONEY! (well not really, you are working for it ) The employer match is a guaranteed return on your investment.
  3. Tax deferred growth – Compounding and tax deferral is the an unbeatable combination, this means all your money is benefitting from the exponential power of compounding.

We all need to take charge of our own outcome in retirement.  In order to have the type of retirement we envision we will need to save and invest on our own behalf to make it a reality.  One of the best vehicles to do that is the 401(k), so automatically contribute as much as you can while your working and let the power of compounding work for you, to provide the type of retirement you want.

10 Most Forgotten Retirement Expenses | BlackRock

Understanding your retirement expenses is an equally important step in successful retirement planning.  Take the time to carefully consider some of the most overlooked retirement expenses:

  1. Health Care
  2. Income tax on traditional 401(k) and IRA withdrawals
  3. Income tax on Social Security benefits
  4. Housing
  5. Adding a vacation spot
  6. Helping elderly parents
  7. Helping adult children
  8. Helping grandchildren
  9. Insurance Premiums
  10. Inflation
    Source: 10 Most Forgotten Retirement Expenses | BlackRock

Warren Buffett’s Retirement Portfolio

Warren Buffett has advised his wife to invest her bequest 90% in stocks and 10% in bonds—and this asset allocation mix could work for retirees, according to a study.

Source: Chief Investment Officer – Warren Buffett’s Way to Invest for Retirement