I created Young Yet Wise because when I went around interviewing strangers in the street asking them “what’s one thing you wish you knew at 18?” many of their responses were money related. “I wish I would have saved more.” Or “I wish I understood the importance of money, I wish someone educated me on my retirement options.”
My goal was to create a site that young people could go to, to learn from other people’s mistakes and make wiser decisions.
To me wisdom is learning from others. Whether it’s learning from the positives or the negatives. So often we read about the successful people and we only want to learn from them, but I think people could benefit by learning from the not so successful people as well.
If at a young age you recognize the poor decisions that other people have made and you see the consequence its had on their life, you try to learn from them and not go down that same road. If you are on that same road, you recognize it quickly and you turn it around.
It’s been brought to my attention that the older people may not of had as much guidance or opportunities that many of us millennials have today. Their parents didn’t really know how to handle their finances, therefore they couldn’t teach their children and the cycle continues.
Recently an older woman reached out to me saying: “Candice I know you focus on young people’s finances, but what about us older folks. These aren’t conversations we’re use to having so we need the smallest molecule to understand how do we begin, where do we go from here? I’m in my 50’s and will be retiring soon so I need help figuring out the best place to keep my money?”
Since I’m not the most knowledgeable when it comes to retirement options I reached out to a few of my financial friends to ask them what piece of financial advice would they give to someone who was getting close to retirement. Below are their answers.
Michelle from www.shopmyclosetproject.com:
- “Don’t panic. When you panic you make mistakes. Do a financial inventory and remember that 50 isn’t the 50 of the 1950’s. You still have time to turn your situation around. Take time to see how you can grow your money and stabilize your outgoing expenses so that you can have a prosperous retirement.”
Teresa at Livingonthecheap.com “Stock index mutual funds at Vanguard (low fees) are usually a good choice. Also, be smart about when to draw Social Security, especially if you were ever married for 10 years or more.” Teresa has also written a great post on the topic. Here a few of her 10 tips you can find the full list here:
- Save as much as you can.If your salary has fallen from $100,000 a year to $50,000, clearly you won’t be able to save as much as you did before. But that doesn’t mean you can’t save anything. “You don’t give up in desperation,” Weston says. “Save what you can.”
- Quit giving money to your adult children.“The welfare for the kids has to stop,” Weston says. “Parents want to help, and I see so many of them who are subsidizing their able-bodied kids.” A 2013 survey from Merrill Lynch found that 68 percent of parents age 50 and older had provided financial support to children age 21 and older during the past five years.
- Wait as long as you can to draw Social Security. For each year you delay claiming Social Security up until age 70, your payouts will grow. For example, someone whose Social Security payment at full retirement age would be $2,200 a month would get only $1,630 a month at age 62, but the amount would grow to $2,860 a month if she waited until age 70 to start receiving
Jeffery Rose wrote a wonderful article on Yahoo finance last month 7 money moves for the 5 years before retirement. Here I’ve only listed three tips, but feel free to read the full post here.
- Plan to reduce the risk in your portfolio. Shifting your entire portfolio to interest generating assets isn’t practical with today’s low rates. But you can begin reducing risk by shifting assets into income producing equities, such as high dividend yielding stocks and real estate investment trusts. The dividend returns on REITs are a lot higher than interest on fixed income investments and also a bit higher than the dividends typically being paid on stocks.
- Make sure you arrive at retirement debt-free. Debt payments represent a direct reduction in retirement income. If you have outstanding balances on credit cards, installment loans, car loans and even your mortgage, make it a priority to get them paid off in the next few years. Paying down debt is one of the most cost effective maneuvers you can make at this point.
- Make getting and staying healthy a lifestyle. Many people begin to develop chronic health-related conditions in their 50s. Not only will these conditions interfere with your ability to enjoy life, but they can also cost you in the form of a reduced ability to earn extra money, and even more directly in the form of higher medical expenses.
It’s very important that you find a financial adviser to help you develop a plan for your money, especially if you are getting close to retirement. Julie from Investingtothrive.com recommends asking these questions before choosing a financial adviser:
Develop a list of questions to ask every financial adviser you are considering for a one-time or ongoing engagement. The SEC recommends these questions and more:
- What experience do you have, especially with people in my circumstances?
- What is your recent employment history?
- What products and services do you offer?
- Can you only recommend a limited number of products or services to me? If so, why?
- How are you paid for your services? What is your usual hourly rate, flat fee, or commission?
You can find the full post here.
Thank you so much Michelle, Teresa, Jeffery, and Julie we appreciate all of your great tips!