After years of helping his own clients retire comfortably and acting as the director of retirement plans for Creative Planning, named the #1 independent wealth management firm in America by Barron’s, Robert Pascuzzi was tired of hearing the horror stories of people not being properly prepared to retire rich. He just released his new book, ‘Get Tough, Retire Rich: Amassing Your Fortune After 40,’ and he’s out to help everyone take the right steps to start preparing.
10 of his tips that can help everyone:
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- Don’t Worry About The Amounts- Even a journey around the world begins with the first step. It’s a better idea to start investing anything you have now instead of waiting until you have a certain amount. Even if you can only spare $10, it is better to put it in a piggy bank and have your own square one to build on instead of having it go towards an unnecessary purchase.
- Invest Smart- When you invest, make sensible, intelligent choices. Most people would definitely not think it’s a good idea to bring their life savings to a casino. The same is true with investing; don’t try to beat the house in the “Wall Street” casino. Even seasoned pros can be tempted by a fast buck or two but think more long term. It’s better to have a long term stable gain at lower annual returns than it is to watch your money go magically up one minute and drastically down the next.
- Make a Decision- Even at the very beginning, it’s important that you have the right mindset about investing. You need to make a decision that you will invest and that you will do it right. Even if you logically know that when you invest the money is still yours, it can still be psychologically difficult to let it go from your hand. You may start to think that maybe you’ll only invest part of it now and spend a little, then make up for it later. Right away you need to realize that investing is the wisest thing you can do and you can’t let temptation sway you from your goals. Just like the old saying goes, “Save the Best for Last”, you should “Invest Now, Get the Best Rewards Later.”
- Make a Commitment- After you’ve made the decision to do what’s best and invest, you need to commit to the long-term strategy. The absence of immediate gratification can sometimes make you lose focus. After the initial excitement of starting to invest your money wears off, you may be tempted to start dipping into the funds earmarked for retirement and use them for other things. DON’T! Stay the course. You will thank yourself later.
- Do Your Homework- It’s good to seek the advice of an expert, but it’s important that you do your own research and make informed decisions, as opposed to being blindly led into the world of financial investments. In the end, no matter how prestigious an advisor is, it’s still your money and you’ll want to know that you always did the smartest thing. You need to be you own Chief Financial Officer. First, be sure that you are on track to save at least seven times your annual income for retirement. Next, look into the benefits and risks of different types of investment. Seek advice but try to find multiple sources so you will have a broad view of where your money is, where you’d like it to be and how to get it there.
- Get Organized- Make sure that you have all the information about your accounts and amounts organized so you know exactly what is happening with your money. You’ll want to know how much you are contributing to each fund or account, how much you are making and exactly how they are being managed. It’s also important to make sure that you and your spouse or partner are on the same page and have the same goals.
- Don’t Spend Emotionally- It’s fun to dream of a fancy sports car or getting the most impressive, lavish cabin on the ship during a cruise, but be sure not to lose the forest for the trees. Whatever you spend money on, just ask yourself if it will be worth it 10 or 20 years down the line. Spend only on what counts and do yourself a favor.
- Expect to Retire Rich- Expectations determine reality. When we expect to do something, even before we know how, we get ourselves mentally prepared to make that outcome happen. Keep raising your expectations and let that future get brighter and brighter.
- Believe You Deserve It- Just like how expectations shape our outcomes, so does self-image. If you think that you don’t really deserve money, you may not get it. You might subconsciously make decisions that will not lead to you fulfilling your potential. If you believe in yourself and let yourself be confident and let go of fear, you will start taking action and turning those dreams into reality.
- Start Investing Now, Not Later- Whether or not we are ready for it, time keeps moving on. It can be easy to procrastinate and tell yourself that you’ll start investing when the time is right, but the right time is always right now. If you wait until the conditions are perfect, it may very well be too late.