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Being able to retire early is a tempting thought in the minds of most hard-working people, but it is not a one-size-fits-all prospect. Before leaving your employment and taking early retirement, ask yourself:
--Have I accumulated a large enough nest egg for my desired lifestyle?
--Have I placed my retirement funds in investment products at the appropriate risk level?
--Will I have to withdraw money at a rate that causes a premature depletion of my nest egg?
Only you and your investment professional can answer these questions. However, there are unscrupulous investment professionals who may sponsor a free lunch program either at your place of work or at another venue to dangle the prospect of early retirement by cashing out and investing with them. What they don't tell you is their promises hinge upon unrealistic investment returns and excessive cash withdrawals, which can lead to the premature depletion of your retirement funds.
Read more about early retirement considerations and 10 tips to avoid being scammed.
As you face retirement after working for many years, you may be wondering if you are in an sufficient financial position to do so. These retirement planning resources will provide some issues to consider and give you a place to start in the process:
Consider completing the Smart Money retirement planning course online. Also, visit the Investor Tools section, to find checklists, worksheets, calculators and other resources to help you plan your retirement with confidence.
Due to the creation of online brokerage services and widespread public access to the Internet, individual investors are now able to buy, sell, and manage their own investments online—without personalized investment guidance from a broker or an investment adviser.
Some investors use the Internet to trade frequently with the hope of profiting from a rapidly changing market. This strategy can be risky. Market volatility, inaccurate information about anticipated changes in prices, and delays in the execution of online trades may lead to financial losses. Investors can also use the Internet to select and manage investments that meet long-term goals. Some investors conduct their own research and purchase all of their investments online without any professional guidance.
Other investors consult a broker or an investment adviser for guidance in developing a plan to select suitable investments then use the Internet as an alternative method of placing orders and tracking performance. Investors are increasingly turning to robo-advisers to help them manage their portfolios. Easy-to-use smartphone apps and online portals make setting up an account with a robo-adviser convenient and quick, which is contributing to their increasing popularity. Read the Robo-Adviser-Investor_Alert BEFORE you invest.
Before buying investments over the Internet, take a few moments to read these guidelines for online investors. Also, for more detailed information about online investing, visit NASAA's online resource center, www.investingonline.org.
The Caught in the MIddle: Sandwich Generation resource, published by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), discusses important topics you need to consider and the investor resources available to you.
Among the topics discussed:
--The Sandwich Generation: Who are We? --Your Children
--Common Investment Scams --You
--The Red Flags of Investing --Your Parents</
Unlike most Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), a self-directed IRA is held by a custodian that often allows investments in a wide variety of alternative investments such as real estate, tax liens, precious metals and private placement securities. Investors should understand that the custodians of self-directed IRAs may have limited duties to investors and generally will not evaluate the quality or legitimacy of an investment and its promoters.
While self-directed IRAs can provide a variety of investment choices, the Corporation Commission's Securities Division has observed assets in these accounts being lost through investment schemes. There are a number of ways that unscrupulous promoters may use self-directed IRAs to perpetrate a fraud on unsuspecting investors. For example, the promoter may:
Many women face particularly daunting money challenges during periods of financial transition — marriage, divorce, job loss, retirement, sending kids off to college, and other changes to their own or their family's financial circumstances. Through specifically tailored investor education resources developed by NASAA (North American Securities Administrators Association) and on-site presentations to women's groups, women can invest with confidence and steer clear of investment fraud. Here's why:
--99 percent of women will be financially responsible for themselves or their families at some point (Source: Wi$eUp)
--More women than ever before – 40 percent – serve as their household's primary breadwinner. (Source: Wi$eUp)
--Nearly 2/3 of women ages 40 to 79 have experienced a major financial transition such as divorce or job loss. (Source: AARP)
--Women typically live longer than men and must be financially prepared for a longer retirement.
--Less than half of women have a retirement plan. (Source: U.S. Social Security Administration)
Read more about the various transitional phases of your financial life and the considerations you should make.