Retired couple sitting together on boat

Setting Yourself Up for Retirement Success


Written by Angela Roberts

Sep 1, 2022

A couple months ago, I wrote about the need for a semiannual financial checkup—a chance to examine your spending habits and goals, as well as your portfolio’s performance thus far, and make adjustments as needed to help set your portfolio (and yourself) up for success.

In that post, I suggested examining contributions to your retirement portfolio. But as you’ll see below, there’s much more to setting yourself up for retirement success.

Now that summer’s over, it’s time to examine your finances once again to see if you can increase retirement contributions.

Couple working with paper and laptop
According to a June 2022 report by Vanguard, Americans hold an average of $141,542 in their retirement accounts. However, the median 401(k) balance is only $35,345. If you’re thinking that this number is skewed lower because it incorporates all age groups, you’d be correct—but not by as much as you might think. The median retirement savings amount for Americans age 65 and over is just $87,700—less than six years of pay at minimum wage (pretax).

As we’ve stated in our special reports, America is facing a retirement crisis, with rising costs and Social Security projected to run out of funds by 2034. So it makes sense to periodically check your spending and saving habits (especially in the months between summer vacations and the holiday season) to see if there’s a little extra you might be able to put away for your golden years.

For the 2022 tax year, 401(k) contributions are limited to $20,500, and IRA contributions are limited to $6,000. However, those age 50 and older are allowed additional catch-up contributions of $6,500 and $1,000 respectively, for a total of $27,000 for 401(k) accounts and $7,000 for IRAs.

Before the holidays are upon us once again, now may be a great time to set a little extra aside for retirement and decide what you want your retirement portfolio to look like at the end of the year.

One of the keys to successful retirement is taking action as early as possible—but it’s never too late to diversify your portfolio.

Coffee cup on top of napkin that reads “IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO BEGIN”
In my life, quality peace of mind comes from taking action. I never like to sit and let time and indecisiveness dictate my future. If there’s some way for me to make an educated decision in a given situation—especially concerning my or my family’s future—I will always try to make that choice.

Ask any financial advisor, and they’ll tell you that the earlier you begin to build your retirement portfolio, the better off you’ll be in the long term. Retirement portfolios are, by nature, often more diversified than other portfolios, with the goal of slow but steady growth.

That said, it’s never too late to add more diversification to your portfolio. As we’ll discuss in greater detail next week, there’s actually a potential “retirement risk zone” during which additional diversification may be even more important, and it begins just a few years prior to when you retire. So if you find yourself closer to retirement than you had hoped to be before closely examining or planning your retirement portfolio, don’t give up—remember, the IRS allows for additional “catch-up” contributions, and today is still better than tomorrow when it comes to starting your journey toward a more comfortable retirement.

Retirement success may be easier to achieve once you understand all your retirement portfolio options.

Whatever the situation, I love having options to choose from. Being able to do my research and make an education decision gives me peace of mind and makes me feel as though I wasn’t forced down a particular path.

Luckily, this is true of retirement accounts because there are many different types of accounts and products available to you. From employer-sponsored 401(k)s to IRAs you open on your own, the options you have vary widely when it comes to how and when you save for retirement. But only one option provides the most freedom and flexibility when it comes to portfolio management: the self-directed IRA.

A self-directed IRA combines the benefits of a traditional or Roth IRA with the expanded freedom to select and direct your asset mix as you see fit. Rather than being limited to a range of retirement products like stocks or bonds, you can add alternative assets like real estate and precious metals to a self-directed IRA.

I’ve always been a planner who likes to do my research before making important decisions—and I’ve never regretted it. If you’re like me, now may be the perfect time to reexamine your retirement portfolio and see if a precious metals IRA is right for you.

To learn more about the benefits of precious metals IRA, CLICK HERE to request a FREE copy of our Gold IRA Information Kit.


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