Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Take Risks with Your 401(k); Social Security has your Back

Far too many of us have moved into too conservative of a mindset when it comes to retirement planning.  Worried that we will lose our investments, we have chosen investments in our 401(k)s better suited for those who are much older, have greater accumulated wealth and need the protection fixed income investments provide.  Yet many younger investors have taken the same approach.  Avoiding risk is not what you should be doing.

You should consider Social Security as part of your retirement plan. For three reasons: one, the program offers those who pay into it – and you do so from the first dollar you make right up until the last one you earn – about a 5.5% return on your investment; two, this contribution, half by you, half by your employer or all of it by you if you are self-employed – up to $106,800 – is conservatively invested leaving you the opportunity to take a few more risks with your 401(k); three, no matter when you begin to collect it – and for the youngest among us, those first years will get pushed further back as we continue to assess the program’s solvency, which right now is good until 2037 – it will be there.

And that should be comforting thought for Boomers worried that they have not done well enough. More thoughts on the subject of Social Security and your retirement plan here.

Paul Petillo is the Managing Editor of Target2025.com

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