How’s that retirement fund coming along?
If the first question that pops into your head is “What retirement fund?”, then you’ve got some serious catching up to do.
In fact, you should have a retirement fund set up as early as possible. Heck, if you’re up for it, you can start while you’re still in your diapers.
Now, if you’re in the US, you’ll have access to several pre-tax retirement accounts, which is fabulous, because it’s just a sweet and legal way of paying less tax without going to jail for it.
So, if you’re employed you should consider going with either a 401K or a deductible IRA. And if you’re self-employed, you should go with either a SERP IRA or a Keogh account.
And how much should you save? Well, you can start by putting aside anything between 10% and 50%. Obviously, the older you are the more you should be putting away because ultimately, you’ll need to have enough quarters stocked up to keep your family happy for a century or two.
Now, that’s just the savings part. It might also be worth considering other investing options down the line, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, shoes and dinosaur bones etc. The yield may not be equally great, but by diversifying your investments you’re actually adding an extra layer of cushioning to your butt, should the unexpected (like a zombie apocalypse) happen.
But, always, always, always consult a REALLY good Financial Adviser to help you with your journey. Also keep in mind that all investments carry some degree of risk.
Last but not least, get into the habit of giving away at least 10% of your net income each and every month to a charity or cause that helps people who cannot help themselves. What this does is place of hedge of protection around your finances, your wellbeing and the wellbeing of your loved, ones kinda like the “hull plating” that shields the Starship Enterprise from baddies in the TV Series Star Trek.
Just as with the “hull plating” analogy, it won’t make you immune to everything. So, if spot an elephant hurling toward you (from the sky) at top speed, it’s probably best that you just “move out of the way”.