If you have worked and saved money for the past 20-50 years it is likely you have felt like a prisoner from time to time. You may have dreamed about the day you could finally quit your job, retire, and have the FREEDOM to do what you want when you want.
Although the working phase of your life can feel like a never ending journey, eventually, if you stay disciplined and save money there will be a point where FREEDOM starts to look achievable.
You will start to notice that your investments are now your most valuable assets, and your house and other debts are being paid off making your monthly expenses lower than they have ever been.
This can be both an exciting and an extremely stressful time of your life.
On one hand, when you are 5-10 years from retirement, it is exciting to know FREEDOM is near. On the other hand, the stress caused by potentially making a bad financial decisions that could destroy your plans, starts to become higher and higher
Just imagine planning on retiring at age 62, and starting Social Security. Your 401k at work has grown to $1,000,000 + (the amount you think you will need to retire) and you are feeling secure and happy.
Then, one month before your last day at work you wake up to the news that a another major financial crisis has hit our country sending investment values plummeting. Very quickly your $1,000,000 drops to $600,000.
When you were in your 20s and 30s this type of drop might not have phased you because you had time on your side and would just let it ride. However, now, when you are 30 days away from needing your money, you feel completely different.
This is the money that has to be there to provide for you for the rest of your life. Now, any excitement you were feeling has been replaced with dread and remorse.
Now you start to scramble to keep your job so you can wait for your investment values to recover.
Finally, after several years, your investments recover and you want to yank it our of your 401k and roll it over to your local bank in a CD. This way you won't have to worry about it going down again.
However, after talking to your banker your disappointment grows. You might have bee expecting to earn 4 or 5% only to find that you might be lucky to get 1 or 2%. Wow! Talking about a being between a rock and a hard place!
Unfortunately, this is a common scenario for many Americans today.
The good news is, with proper planning you can create strategies to uncover hidden opportunities and help protect yourself from potential risks that could derail your plans and your FREEDOM.