It's never too early to start thinking of ways to fund your retirement. Traditionally, most people have depended on a state or private pension; however, the state pension is unlikely to be sufficient to live on, and confidence in private pensions has dropped. The smartest course is to set up a combination of options - here are some ways to fund your retirement …
1. Set up a Business
One of the possible ways to fund your retirement is to set up a business that you can sell when you retire, or continue to draw an income from. It's certainly not an easy method of making a fortune, and you'll need to spend years working long hours to even start making any money. But if you've got the knowledge, drive and commitment, you can easily ensure a well-funded retirement.
2. Stock Market
Investing in the stock market can still be profitable - emphasis on the word can. Unless you want to dedicate time to learning about the stock market, it's best to invest in a managed fund. You should avoid investing money that you can't afford to lose, because of the risks of the fund's value falling. Also avoid putting all of your savings in this type of investment.
Investing in property is another popular route to providing for retirement. Although many places have seen property prices rocket in recent years, it's not a guaranteed route to riches. Also, it does require a lot of effort to buy and maintain a property, and being a landlord has a lot of stresses. Alternatively, you could consider a fund that invests in commercial property if you don't have the money to buy a rental property.
4. High-Interest Account
Since you need to think long term when planning for your retirement, it's smart to take advantage of any tax breaks offered to savers. Also look at savings accounts that offer a higher rate if you don't touch the money for a fixed term or that don't allow withdrawals. This will avoid the temptation to withdraw the money for some other purpose.
It's not a method you should rely on, but if you have some knowledge of the collector's market, you may be able to make some money for your retirement. You may strike lucky and anticipate future interest in a market. Look for something that tends to hold its value, and remember that items generally have to be in pristine condition if they're going to interest collectors.
6. Home Equity
Many people rely on their home paying for their retirement. Of course, this means that you will need to sell the home when you retire (and you'll still need somewhere else to live). But if you move from an expensive area and retire to a cheaper one, or downsize, you could free up substantial amounts of cash.
7. Ethical Investments
Finally, ethical and alternative investments could be a possibility. It's also a fun way of investing, and feels less anonymous than conventional investments. You'll also know that your money is doing some good. Look at crowdsourcing sites to see what takes your fancy. You could help fund a movie. Or you can choose to invest via a peer-to-peer lender.
It's smart not to depend on one source of income in retirement, so look at developing a strategy that combines different routes. You need to take charge of your own retirement provision, and not depend on a miracle to save you, or it will be a very impoverished old age! Have you started your retirement planning yet?