Even under COVID…no, especially under COVID, people need to be focused on their long-term financial future. If you’re in your twenties or thirties and want to create financial independence, you’ll need to begin an investment program. Here are the key actions you should take now:
- Don’t wait, invest now. Many people postpone investing because they know little to nothing about investing. Here’s what you should invest in now…while you begin to educate yourself. If you have a matching 401-k plan with your employer, start there because the matching contribution is like free money. If your employer does not offer a matching retirement plan, open a personal account at a discount broker such as Schwab.com.
- Invest in a broadly diversified, low-cost index mutual fund or exchange-traded fund (ETF). If you need help with your 401-k plan choices, ask someone in your HR department. If investing personally, go to Schwab.com and type SPY into the search engine. This ETF invests in 500 of the largest companies in America. Over decades it has averaged 9% or more. Because you have decades until retirement, 100% stocks is a good choice.
- Automate your investments. This is done for you in a company 401-k plan, but if you’re investing personally, you need to have money automatically taken out of your bank account and deposited to your investment account with a discount broker like Schwab.
- Invest a minimum of 10% of your paycheck. The more, the better but 10% of a rising paycheck over decades of investing should get you to financial independence by normal retirement age (65). Double the percent and you should whack off a decade or more.
FOX 6 TALKING POINTS
Investing for the Ages Part I of III: 20’s & 30’s
- Invest NOW
- Use a low-cost index fund SPY
- Automate your investing
- Invest a minimum of 10% of each paycheck
Stewart H. Welch, III, CFP, AEP, is the founder of THE WELCH GROUP, LLC, which specializes in providing fee-only investment management and financial advice to families throughout the United States. He is the author or co-author of six books, including J.K. Lasser’s New Rules for Estate, Retirement and Tax Planning- 6th Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.); THINK Like a Self-Made Millionaire; and 100 Tips for Creating a Champagne Retirement on a Shoestring Budget.
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