5 Tactics to Boost a Retirement Strategy

Setting up a well-designed retirement strategy is not easy. While many people rely on their company 401(k)s or IRAs for retirement income, the reality is that simply contributing to these vehicles is often not enough to save for retirement. To make your investment dollars stretch further, consider these 5 tips:

1. Take the Free Money
Most employers who offer a 401(k) or IRA to their employees also match their contributions up to a certain percentage. For example, an employer may provide a matching benefit of 5% to employees who contribute 5% or more of their salaries to their 401(k). This means that they will match your contribution up to the 5% amount.

If you’re able to, make sure that you at least contribute the minimum amount to obtain the matching benefit from your employer. This benefit is literally free money that is put into your retirement account. It’s also free from IRS taxation, as it’s not included as part of your regular income for the year.

2. Maximize Growth
Everyone has a different risk tolerance when investing towards their retirement. A mix of investments can be used to achieve high returns while also incurring low fees. Some of the most common types of investments that can potentially result in high returns include:

Stocks are issued by corporations that are seeking to raise money by selling equity shares. When you buy a stock, you purchase a percentage ownership in the company.

Over time, you’ll receive dividends from the shares that you purchase. When you finally decide to sell your shares of stock, you may find that they have significantly increased in value.

This growth allows you to realize a return on your investment. However, realize that the value of a stock may just as easily decline in value. If you decide to hold on to your shares over the long term, make sure you pay attention to the company’s activities and the value of your shares.

ETFs are traded on a market exchange just like stocks. However, they usually consist of a variety of investments, such as stocks, commodities, or bonds.

One ETF may bundle fractional ownership of a number of companies or bond types. While they sound similar to mutual funds, they are different in that they rise and fall in value throughout the trading day.

ETFs can offer all of the benefits of owning stocks but are less expensive to purchase than purchasing shares in each individual company or bond since doing so would result in individual broker fees and commissions.

Fixed Index Annuities
A fixed index annuity is an agreement between an investor and an insurance company. When the investor makes either a lump-sum purchase or agrees to make regular payments to the insurance company, they are able to receive regular disbursements when the annuity comes into force.

Fixed index annuities are generally tied to a market index, such as the S&P 500. This connection means that your distributions will be determined by the market performance and can result in enhanced returns.

3. Manage Cash Flow
Another way to maximize your portfolio return in retirement is by minimizing how you live today. This approach requires you to live below your means.

To live below your means, you can reduce your expenses in any area — housing, transportation, food, or entertainment. For example, you may purchase a used car with cash rather than purchasing something brand-new that has a monthly payment.

The money that you save by living below your means can be used to invest towards your retirement. If you have a credit card or other revolving debt, you can use the extra money to pay it off quicker.

4. Minimize Market Risk
Make sure that your retirement portfolio contains a mix of investments that can protect you in the event of a market downturn but also allow for growth. Investing in fixed index annuities is a great way to achieve a balanced portfolio.

These types of investments allow for regular distributions during retirement. You’ll receive a regular minimum payment when the annuity begins, but the value of the distribution can increase since it is tied to the performance of a specific market index.

5. Minimize Taxes
Finally, you’ll want to minimize the taxes that you pay throughout your career and in retirement. There are a variety of ways to do this, and each person’s strategy will be different according to the income that they earn, investments that they hold, and exemptions that they may qualify for.

The best way to strategically minimize taxes is to speak with someone who is an expert in U.S. tax laws and investment strategies. They can help you to understand the deductions you may be eligible for, as well as recommend appropriate investment strategies that are designed to reduce taxation expenses.


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