We’ve all had our interest piqued with the idea of investing at some point in our lives.
Perhaps, long ago, a friend tried to convince you to invest in the stock market, or, more recently, you were nearly won over by the lure of bitcoin.
But something always stopped you… until now.
You finally feel ready to invest, but you’re hesitant. Is there such thing as being “too old” to invest? Will you still reap the rewards, even if you don’t have as many years left on the planet as someone half your age?
It’s a question that one 71-year-old man was keen to get answered, so he took to the internet and asked an expert columnist for advice.
The man, known only as B, explained his situation in his letter to The Penny Hoarder.
He explained that he’s on Social Security and received two pensions, which is “not a lot of money”, but he’s “okay from month to month”.
He added that he’d finally got out of debt before returning – he’d been caught in the 2008 housing bust and had been desperately trying to pay off two hefty mortgages with a credit card.
Within 6 months, he’ll be completely debt-free – but this debt prevented him from being able to do his own saving for retirement.
It’s a situation that most of us can relate to. Life has a way of altering our plans when we least want it to.
B finished his question:
“Is it too late to enter the investment world, rather than just accumulating the pittance of interest that comes from having savings accounts at the bank?
We’re not talking about a lot of money. I’ve been putting $75 per month into bank savings for several years now. Six-month emergency fund aside, does it make sense for me to try investing it rather than just plain banking it at this stage of life? If so, what kind of approach would you recommend?
I probably could do more than the $75 a month especially once the credit card debt is done. I could probably make an initial investment of maybe $5,000. I’m hoping there are a lot of years of life ahead of me.”
If you’re in a situation similar to B, you’ll be happy to know that, according to the expert columnist, it’s not too late for you to start investing.
The columnist explained that B’s social security and two pensions were guaranteed income for the rest of his life.
However, she recommended investing differently from how he would in his 30s or 40s, avoiding taking risks in the stock market, as he might not have enough time for his money to recover after a crash.
Investing aggressively likely isn’t an option, here, but if B – or you, for that matter – is simply looking to earn a bit more money alongside that guaranteed income, it’s certainly worth considering.
Bonds and certificates of deposits (CDs) are safe and popular investment options for retirees.
Opening an account at one of the major brokerages, like Vanguard, Charles Schwab, or Fidelity, is the easiest way to start investing.
If you’re not sure how to make the best investing decisions, you can use a robo-advisor, which makes smart investment decisions for you.
Remember, investing should never be something to rush into, and you should make sure you’re out of debt before considering it.
Check out the full response on The Penny Hoarder if you’re keen to invest over 70 yourself.
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