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Investing For Retirement

The best thing you can do right now is to take a good look at all segments of your financial status.

Making good investment choices has always been considered a wise and prudent act for those who want to get, and remain, financially ahead of the game. As you grow older, you begin to realize how important it is to look out for yourself, not just in terms of your personal health, but your financial health as well.

The way you invest your money is crucial because of the many questions concerning the long term viability of social security, inadequate saving, and today's volatile stock and real estate markets. A cloud of insecurity is looming over the large population of baby boomers who are of retirement age because many of them are not be as prepared as they thought they would be when they were younger.

Making common sense investments with your money is imperative if you want to live comfortably in your retirement years. And it's not just the baby boomers who need to be concerned, the generations coming after the baby boomers will be hard pressed to make ends meet.

The first of the baby boomers have already begun to retire and within the next ten years, a large number are going to begin tapping into social security. Whether they invested wisely over their working years is going to come to play a big part in their retirement lifestyles.

For those baby boomers who have not yet retired, it's not too late to start investing. There are many investment vehicles available that can give you additional income when you retire.

Real estate is still one of the most solid and versatile investments that you can make. The value of real estate can go down if the housing market goes into a slump, but as long as there is a demand for housing, the value usually increases. No matter how wealthy a person gets, the one investment that is usually made above all others, is in real property, whether it is a home to live in or rental property.

Stocks and bonds, although volatile at times, is another great investment vehicle. If you pick and choose, diversify, and keep track of your portfolio, you can do very well buying stock. Many companies offer it's stock to employees through payroll deduction plans. Over the years, stock can grow into a formidable amount of revenue and it is not taxed until it is sold. Unless the company goes bankrupt or out of business, you should remain safe with your companies stock purchases.

401(k) plans offer a means to save through tax deferred pay in which an employee agrees to contribute a specific amount of salary into the plan instead of receiving regular wages as pay. This is a sound investment opportunity because it usually includes matching funds by the employer, and as long as the money is not withdrawn before the employee is 59 1/2 years old, it is not taxable.

(IRA's) Individual Retirement Accounts were authorized by Congress to give those who earn income the opportunity to save for retirement through tax deferred means. There are several types of IRAs, including traditional, simple, Roth, and Simplified Employee Plans (SEPs) that may be set up in banks or other savings institutions.

There are many other ways to invest your money including bonds, money market accounts, mutual funds, and regular savings accounts that are set up in banks, credit unions and savings and loan associations. As an investor, you have to seek out and decide which investment vehicle is best for you.

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