5 Retirement Savings Hacks You Need To Know

Have you ever noticed that some people seem to have a fulfilling and enjoyable retirement while others are stressed and struggling?

The difference between the two often comes down to planning. Like most things in life, those who plan reap the rewards and those who don’t suffer the consequences.

The good news is that it is never too early or too late to take steps to help ensure a happy retirement.

The following five hacks are simple tricks that can be easily implemented to improve your retirement.

Hack #1: Avoid Mutual Funds
Many long-term investors approaching retirement age are heavily invested in mutual funds. Now may be a good time to take a closer look at your holdings.

Not only can mutual funds have a massive front-end load, but they can also be costly to maintain due to high annual fees.

Generally, funds that end with A, B, or C are front-end loaded and boast high yearly fees.

If you already own a front-end loaded fund, it is too late to avoid the cost, but you can liquidate funds with high yearly costs to help save money.

Reasons to avoid mutual funds include the fact that many are not as diversified as you may wish, and there are tax inefficiencies with them.

Hack #2: Consider ETFs
Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, have become extremely popular over the last decade. They now make up around 30% of all traded volume on U.S. stock exchanges. As interest in mutual funds has declined, ETF trading volume has increased. There are multiple reasons for this fact. ETFs cost less for the investor, offer greater personalization and diversification, and can be traded during the day rather than only at the close of the session.

Long-term retirement-minded investors benefit from the lower costs of ETFs as compared to mutual funds and the ability to build a personalized diversified portfolio.

Hack #3: Raise Cash Now: It’s Not Impossible
While it may seem impossible to raise cash now, there may be ways to pump up your savings that have not entered your mind.

The first thing is to consider your real estate holdings. If you own multiple, paid off rental properties, it may be wise to sell a few to build your cash reserves. You will likely not need the same cash flow generated from multiple rentals and the cash generated by the sale of several can be redeployed for more significant benefits. Also, dump your vacation home. It just makes sense to pocket the cash from the vacation home, save on mortgage, fees and tax payments, and rid yourself of the headaches that come with owning a vacation home. Remember, you can always rent when it’s time for vacation. Not only does renting save money, it has the added benefit of the ability to vacation wherever you want in the world!

Downsizing your primary residence can free up much-needed cash before retirement. While it is normal to have an emotional connection to the family homestead, in many cases, it makes sense to do what is economically smart.

Finally, take a close look at your collections and other possessions. Ask yourself if you need all this stuff retiring. If not, selling on eBay, or an onsite auction, can turn your unneeded belongings into quick cash.

Hack #4. Relocate
Now that you are no longer working, there is no need to continue living in a high-cost area. Relocating to a less expensive region can open up numerous other options for nearly every retiree. Some retired people even find moving to another country makes sense in the effort to lower living expenses. It only makes sense to explore moving before actually retiring, rather than waiting to quit your job. Knowing where you want to live will enable you to pinpoint the exact location that will fit your needs the best.

Not only will relocating away from a city lower your costs, but many also consider it an upgrade in lifestyle.

Hack #5: Lower Risk By Adjusting Portfolio
While risk exists in all forms of stock market investing, there are ways to help minimize your risk exposure. Take a close look at your stock market holdings. Consider selling the non-dividend-paying names and the stocks that have had a tremendous run-up over the last few years.

Along with index ETFs, consider redeploying the capital into solid dividend producing names like Prudential Financial (NYSE: PRU), AT&T (NYSE: T) and Omega Health Care (NYSE: OHI) for their expected future stability and consistent dividend payouts.

Risks To Consider: Risk cannot be mitigated out of a stock market portfolio. There are just too many unknown variables for anything to be guaranteed. Always use stop-loss orders, diversify, and position size wisely when investing!

Action To Take: Consider implementing one or more of the above retirement tricks to help prepare for your golden years!

— David Goodboy

Sponsored Link: Did you miss out on $113,922? Back in December 2009, a small group of investors started a brand-new income program called The Dividend Trifecta. They’ve pulled in $113,922 in steady income over the years… and the number gets bigger every month. Some are making $1,900 per month… all thanks to The Dividend Trifecta. Click here to learn more about how investors just like you are cashing these checks every month.

Source: Street Authority