I recently saw a commercial where a company was claiming to help clients get their retirement plans ‘back on track.’ That got me thinking…how long will it take the average person to make up for the losses they suffered during the near market crash? And also, wouldn’t it be nice if something as important as your retirement funds were not subject to the roller coaster ride of the market?

There has to be a shift in thinking, traditional financial planning just isn’t working anymore! Watch this short video where a certified financial planner tells how 40 and 50 year olds can protect their retirement: Video

My favorite part of the video:

Certified Financial Planner: “make sure you’re investing in your 40’s and 50’s, especially in this market, everything is cheap right?”

Anchor: “Yeah except if your retirement plan has tanked lately.”

CFP: “Well that’s the key of being in  your 40’s, you’ve got time.  I mean you’re not going to retire for 20, 30 years right?”

She continues on to say that if you are worried about the economy,  “make sure you’re still investing in your 401k.”

WHAT?!?!?  So let me get this straight, I am upset that 20, 30, sometimes up to 50% of my retirement funds are gone and to make sure I “protect my retirement” I should keep throwing money into the very vehicle that has lost all that money?!?

As I stated before there has to be a shift in thinking, traditional financial planners are still using buzz words like asset allocation, diversification, risk tolerance, and for some reason are still advising their clients to put their money at risk in hopes of high returns.

Why worry about having to get your financial plan ‘back on track?’

If you could save for retirement in an efficient, risk free, and tax advantaged way would you?  Would you rather have constant, predictable growth, or a risky roller coaster ride with an unknown outcome?

While those advised in the traditional manner are postponing retirement and waiting for their investments to make up for lost money, you could be enjoying steady returns and have more control over your financial future.

The key is to stop losing money!

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What is the best alternative to a 401k?  Thousands of employees are losing their employers match on their 401k plan and on top of that retirement nest eggs are being cut in half due to the recent downturn in the economy.  Some folks who planned on retiring this year have had to put off that luxury for several more years while their funds play catch up.

So what kind of advice is out there?  Well you can go to yahoo answers for some non-expert advice.  Most of the responses (in fact all of them) advise the desperate individual to get an IRA or a Roth IRA.

for more advice you could go to “the finance buff” and he’ll explain, in more confusing terms, the same thing you found on yahoo answers.

You could check with an expert by the name of Suze Orman and she’ll simply tell you to “hang in there!”  here is quote from her site –>”Yes, I know how hard it is to do nothing when you see your 401(k) falling 20% or more, but sticking with your long-term strategy will allow you to have a financially secure retirement.”

You could even go to Dave Ramsey–what kind of advice do you think he’ll give you?  “If you receive a match in your (401k, 403b, TSP), invest here first up to the match.  Then, fully fund a Roth IRA for you (and your spouse, if married).  Then, come back to the (401k, 403b, TSP).”

So as you can see there is a common thread here; if you don’t use a 401k, the next best option (according to the above experts) is an IRA or Roth IRA.

However even before considering a 401k, IRA, Roth IRA or 403b you have to honestly answer the following question:  Who do you want to control your money? What I mean by this is simple, all of the above plans are government created tax loopholes, and as we all know that which the government creates, the government controls.  Don’t believe me?  Lets look at the restrictions placed on these government sponsored plans:

rules and regulations regarding government sponsored retirement plans

  • Total contributions may not exceed 100% of the employee’s compensation.
  • Total contributions may not exceed $49,000 in 2009 and 2010.
  • the total contribution that an employee can make on a pre-tax basis is limited to $16,500 in 2009 and remained at that level in 2010.
  • withdrawals from a retirement account may be subject to an additional tax of 10% if the distribution is made before you reach age 59.5 years old.
  • (with the exception of a Roth IRA) Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) are minimum amounts that a retirement plan account owner must withdraw annually starting with the year that he or she reaches 70 ½ years of age, and they face stiff penalties for failure to take RMDs.

Well if you ask me I would say there is at least some form of control being exercised when the government limits the amount of money I can save, tell me when I can and cannot access my money, and penalize me for not abiding by their rules.

SO…WHAT IS THE REAL ALTERNATIVE?

The answer may surprise you.

watch the short video explaining the 200-year-old vehicle that, if understood correctly, lets you be in complete control of your money and your retirement!

CLICK HERE TO WATCH