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- The worst thing you can do with your money in your 60s is make a poor investment decision, according to a financial planner.
- This involves not holding on to your capital and jumping into nonreputable investment opportunities, he said.
- You also shouldn’t dip into your retirement accounts too early.
Harvey Bezozi, CFP, CPA, and founder of YourFinancialWizard.com, told Business Insider that the dumbest thing you can do in your 60s is make poor investment decisions for both new and current investments.
Preserve your capital, and be cautious with new investment opportunities
“Hold on to your money for dear life, and do not invest other than with those individuals and businesses who are super reputable and have a long-standing and impeccable track record,” Bezozi said. “Every day there is another news story of how innocent people have been taken advantage of by unscrupulous investment promoters. Preservation of capital, with some nice growth, is of paramount importance.”
According to Bezozi, the US Securities and Exchange Commission recommends asking questions, doing research on the business, knowing the salesperson, and being wary of unsolicited offers before investing.
“Also, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is; guaranteed returns are many times a fantasy and do not materialize, and if pressure sales tactics are used stay away,” he said.
Aside from fishy broker tactics, you should also keep an eye out for investments that seem too sophisticated or have exceptionally high returns, according to financial experts. An investment may also be too good to be true if it’s unregistered, you have to borrow money to invest, or you’re unable to cash out.
Resist the temptation to dip into your retirement accounts early
Using your money for risky investments is a bad move, but so is using your money too early.
“Do not prematurely sell your invested assets or cash-in your retirement accounts early, thereby dangerously reducing your nest egg and accelerating taxation and penalties,” Bezozi said.
Dipping into your retirement accounts before the official retirement age of 65 can be tempting if you’re beyond the age at which you can withdraw without penalty – if you retire at age 55 with an employer-sponsored 401(k), you may be able to begin withdrawing funds if your plan is held at your current employer. IRAs, however, will penalize you for withdrawing before age 59 1/2.
But keep in mind that the longer you wait to tap into that nest egg, the more time your investments will have to compound, in which the balance and older interest payments earn more interest over time.
Working longer or picking up a part-time job during retirement can help stetch your retirement funds further, according to Anna Robaton of CNBC.
Either way, “anything you are not spending stays in your portfolio, not just for future use but also compounding into something more,” J. Christopher Boyd, CFP and chief investment officer at Asset Management Resources, told Robaton.
The standard rule of thumb says you should have enough saved to start withdrawing 4% from your portfolio during your first year of retirement, increasing your withdrawal each year enough to cover inflation. But, this should be revised annually based on needs, portfolio performance, and taxes, Maria Bruno, senior investment analyst at the Vanguard Investment Group, told MagnifyMoney.
It all comes back to when you start using your retirement funds. Those who retired earlier or with a smaller nest egg may need to withdraw a little under 4%, she said, while those who retired with a larger nest egg or later in life can withdraw more.