7 Different Ways to Invest for Retirement

  • Personal Finance
  • 28.04.2021 07:58 pm

According to a recent study from the Nationwide Retirement Institute (NRI), one in five Americans have been forced to delay or cancel their retirement because of the coronavirus pandemic. The same survey revealed that more than one-quarter (27%) of Americans have saved less or stopped saving for retirement due to job loss during the COVID-19 public health crisis. What's worse is that 37% say they have or are likely to withdraw cash from their retirement accounts.

Suffice it to say, retirement is America is not what it used to be. The days of Freedom 55 are long gone. The cost of living is on the rise, and near-zero interest rates can make it harder to save your money. In fact, the state of retirement in America today has been named an emerging crisis.

But what is the solution to this crisis? Whether you are just starting out saving for your golden years, or you are playing a game of catchup, investing for retirement is one of the best tools to employ. With the right investment strategy, you can confidently live your best life throughout your retirement years!

We have compiled a guide on ways you can invest for retirement, from dividend stocks to real estate investing.

1. Index Funds

You probably don’t have the time to watch CNBC or Bloomberg all day long. You likely also don’t have the luxury (or patience) to stare at stock tickers during any given session, trying to buy (or sell) at the right time. After all, no one can perfectly time the market.

One solution? Buy index funds! These are investments that mirror the composition and performance of any of the leading indexes, from the Dow Jones Industrial Average to the S&P 500. They are a tried, tested, and true method of investing. It might not be as exciting as hopping on the memeified bandwagon, hoping to catch a 600% payday. But strong returns and regular dividends can give you peace of mind – and money in your account!

2. CD Laddering

With interest rates as low as they are, is it even worth it to invest in certificate deposits? While buying 90-day or six-month CDs might seem like a waste of time, climbing the ladder may be the next best solution for the risk-adverse investor.

Here is how it works:

  • Divide a sum of cash into equal amounts.
  • Invest the funds in CDs with different maturities.
  • At the end of each maturity, re-invest the sum into the next long-term CD.

That’s it. CD laddering allows you greater access to your money, as well as the opportunity to take advantage of higher rates.

3. Dividend Value Stocks

If you have monitored the stock market lately, you may have noticed weakness in the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index. This is due to two reasons: investors are buying up Treasurys that are on the rise, shifting their portfolio holdings into value stocks.

Value stocks are investments that trade at a lower price than what the company's performance – price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is, for example – has historically been. Many of these stocks also pay a quarterly dividend.

Unsure of the best value stocks you should be adding to your portfolio? Here are several to pay attention to and their dividends:

  • Johnson and Johnson (JNJ): 2.46%
  • Kroger (KR): 2.3%
  • Nutrien (NTR): 2.59%
  • NRG Energy (NRG): 3.6%
  • Altria Group (MO): 7.9%
  • Oneok (OKE): 9.4%

4. REITs

The U.S. housing market is through the roof, with industry spectators projecting that the action will only get hotter in the months ahead. Across the country, sales activity and valuations are soaring thanks to a mix of historically low interest rates, impressive demand, and modest supply. But rather than get involved in bidding wars, enormous costs, and headaches, why not utilize real estate investment trusts (REITs)?

A REIT is a company that owns, manages, and finances income-producing residential and commercial properties. Most of them trade on major stock exchanges, allowing investors to dip their toes in real estate without all the legwork, burdensome costs, and homeownership streeses.

What are some popular U.S. REITs? Here are a few to mull over and their dividends:

  • Virtus Real Asset Income ETF (VRAI): 3.72%
  • Vanguard Real Estate ETF (VNQ): 3.83%
  • Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS): 2.3%
  • Digital Realty (DLR): 3.4%
  • CubeSmart: 4.00%

5. Automatic Savings Plan (ASP)

The trick to saving and investing for retirement is to regularly and automatically sock away money when you receive a paycheck, tax refund, cash gift, bonus…you get the idea. No matter what, always pay yourself first before lining someone else’s pocket with your hard-earned money.

Today, it is easier than ever to invest a portion of your paycheck without having to pay exorbitant fees to tap into the financial arena. You can automate your saving and investing through an all-in-one checking and investment account that automatically invests your deposits and lets you have access to your money when you need it.

6. Cryptocurrency

Is bitcoin Tulip Mania 2.0? There is a lot of debate over the state of the peer-to-peer decentralized digital currency, particularly regarding its status as a bubble asset. Whether bitcoin can hit $100,000 or emulate its historic 2017 collapse remains to be seen, but the undeniable truth is that cryptocurrency is here to stay. Now that Wall Street has gotten in on the crypto game, it is easy to see that bitcoin is not going anywhere.

So, should cryptocurrency be a part of your retirement strategy? Perhaps buying into anything at record highs is not ideal, but tapping into bitcoin when prices ease off a little bit could be a great way to gain exposure to the digital currency. 

Be it 1% or 10%, speak with a financial advisor about putting a small portion of your assets into the crypto market. Plus, you do not need to buy bitcoin directly – you can acquire exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that have exposure to the decade-old cryptocurrency.

7. Roth IRA

Whatever your retirement investing strategy is, you need to assess the tax implications of your decisions. You do not want to see an incredible return on your investment only to be slapped with a massive penalty from the tax man.

What is a good alternative? One of the best things you can take advantage of is a Roth individual retirement account (IRA). A Roth IRA allows investors to receive tax-free growth and tax-free withdrawals in retirement if you own the account for at least five years and you are over 59 1/2. The concept is simple; take out your money whenever you want, without owing any federal taxes.

Get your money working harder for you with these great investment tips that will ensure that your golden years shine even brighter.

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