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The Different Types of Retirement Plans

Aug 20, 2008
We all know that there is a growing need in this country to take our retirements into our own hands if we want the funds necessary to have any quality of life upon retirement. The problem is that most of us have no idea where to begin when it comes to financial retirement planning or investing.

The sad news is that for most of our lives retirement was something that was taken care of if we put in an honest lifetime of work. However, the climate has changed and the retirement funds that many of us have labored to pay for the vast majority of our lives are slipping away.

The good news is that this need has not gone unnoticed by the powers that be and while they aren't offering solutions for the funds we've already invested or in salvaging what is left of the failing system, they are empowering people to take some control for their personal retirements by offering investment options and strategies that provide tax benefits along the way in order to reward you for your efforts.

The four common types of retirement plans include 401(K) plans, Keough Plans, IRAs (individual retirement accounts), and qualifying pension or profit sharing plans offered by corporations.

In most retirement plans, the contributions to those plans are tax deductible and taxes aren't paid on these plans until the funds are received and retirement payment begins. You should be careful of your investments and guard them well as there are often hefty penalties involved when you take funds out of your retirement funds before you actually retire.

These of course are not the only types of investments you can make for your golden years and it never hurts to have more eggs in many baskets. The more the merrier in most cases. My personal preference for investing is real estate.

This is an investment that you can actually see and reach out and touch. It is also an investment that often gets overlooked when planning for retirement, though when you consider it is an excellent choice. Property values are much lower today than they will be ten, twenty, or fifty years from now.

This means the sooner you buy the property the more it will be worth (in theory) when you retire. The thing to remember is that property investing, like other types of investing, requires some degree of risk. You need to learn as much as you can about the process and discuss your interest with a financial advisor before you make any major decisions concerning your retirement investments.

There are more traditional investment methods you may want to consider as well. Mutual funds and the stock market are great ways to invest your money, build a decent portfolio, and increase your net worth. This type of investing also carries some degree of risk and isn't always considered financial retirement planning but more along the lines of simple financial planning.

The thing to remember is that it is always good to have a plan. For this reason, I strongly encourage you to engage the services of a good financial planner. He or she can help you navigate the tricky language that is involved in many transactions, set realistic and obtainable retirement goals according to your needs as well as your means, and offer excellent advice and guidance on other investment ventures you may wish to pursue. In other words, a good financial planner can help you plan for your retirement.

When it comes to the world of finance, many of us are far from experts. We seek legal advice from attorneys, tax advice from accountants, and medical advice from doctors yet very few of us go to financial planners when planning our financial retirement.

In many ways it makes little sense to approach our futures so carelessly and yet this is not something that our parents and grandparents would have done so there is no precedence for doing so.

The problem is that money is such a limited commodity in this world, we are living longer than ever before, and we are enjoying much more mobility in our golden years than in times long past. We now need expert advice and guidance in order to insure that we are in the best possible position when the time comes to face our own retirements.
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