How to Nurture, Grow and Protect Your Retirement Savings

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shutterstock_70550545After working for decades, you are finally ready to retire. While you are looking forward to having your days to yourself and having the time to tackle all of those projects you have put off for years, you are understandably a bit concerned about your finances. You’ve worked hard to create a nice nest egg for your golden years, but you want to be sure that you are getting the most out of your money and that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

Fortunately, by implementing some money-related strategies, being aware of some common scams and signing up for an identity protection program, you and your retirement savings will flourish rather than flounder in the years to come.

Diversify Your Approach

Fidelity suggests using a diversified income strategy to grow your retirement savings. This includes fixed-income annuities, variable annuities and an investment portfolio to make your savings work for you. The fixed income and variable annuities help transform a portion of your savings and any income you receive from Social Security and pensions into a steady source of money. Meanwhile, the investments help grow the money into an account you can tap into for hobbies or emergencies. If you are not comfortable with any of these options, you can certainly stick with just one or two, but, in general, this three-pronged approach is an effective way to grow your retirement funds.

Consider Mutual Funds

Another way to help grow your retirement savings is to take it out of low interest paying savings accounts or IRAs and to invest it in diversified mutual funds. For people who are new to this approach, they can choose what is called a target-date fund, which selects an amount to go into stocks and another to go into bonds and then automatically re-calibrates these amounts over time. To learn more about investing, you can take some notes from industry experts like Mark Varacchi Sentinel Fund Management.

Protect Yourself

Although you receive regular statements from your bank in regards to your retirement accounts, you should take further steps to safeguard your hard-earned money from identity theft. To keep tabs on your investment accounts and other retirement funds, sign up with a company like LifeLock. Their investment account activity alerts let you know each time a balance transfer or cash withdrawal takes place. So, if you take out some money, you simply let LifeLock know by clicking a button on their website. But, if someone fraudulently gets into your accounts, LifeLock will alert you and help protect your identity.

Be Aware of Scams

Unfortunately, there are several investment scams that retirees have fallen prey to. My Retirement Paycheck lists many seemingly good deals or investments that could actually drain your accounts. For example, if you are tempted by high-return or “risk-free” investments, think twice before signing up. These often are speculative or high-risk investments like penny stocks or futures, explains My Retirement Paycheck. Also, be aware of possible pyramid or Ponzi schemes that promise high returns for no work besides investing. Eventually these schemes become too big to pay back investors, the pyramid collapses and you are left without of your investment.

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