For Seniors Looking For New Investments, Some Tips
- Written by Rogers Sheffield & Campbell
- Published: 30 October 2014
You may know somebody in the twilight of their life that has worked and saved and invested diligently over the decades, and is now reaping the rewards of that lifelong effort. This somebody may even be you. All the smart 65+ folks I know don't shut their brains off in retirement- if they are even retired. In fact most I know are still eager to find something new to succeed in. For the Seniors that haven't invested in a while that want to get back in the game, though, there are a few things to keep in mind while considering new investment products that weren't relevant earlier in life.
Anything that lacks liquidity or has long holding periods with benefits that vest outside of life expectancy are not good investments. This may seem obvious, but it is a lot harder to think about this if you have been out of the ring for a while. In the "old days", this wasn't a variable to consider.
Also, think carefully about investing in complex new products that don't quite make sense to you. For whatever reason, some otherwise brilliant seasoned citizens get enamored with complexity and technology and temporarily forget the fundamentals. Complex products tend to be riskier now, just like they were then, and no matter what glittering new high-tech offering shows up, great promotionals don't make a great investments.
Have a heightened awareness of scams. Scammers target seasoned citizens with assets. They think the seasoned are easier targets. The old adage, "if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is" should be a mantra. Scam advisors will recommend a lot of things to convince their mark that they can maximize their retirement income. There are dozens of angles, but they are all targeting existing assets with a promise of better returns down the road. Just a couple of examples are:
- Use your home equity to invest in "can't miss" new investment strategies.
- Use your retirement savings or early IRA withdrawals to invest in "can't miss" new securities.
Keep in mind scammers will also prey on the children or grandchildren of the marked seasoned citizen, so family members and friends should be made aware.
Finally, keep in mind it is never too late to put together an estate plan. Estate planning provides clear and comprehensive boundaries- and the freedom that comes from knowledge. You will know how much can you actually work with in your new investing ambitions without hurting yourself or your beneficiaries. Here is a great interactive pamphlet on the State Bar of California's website about estate planning that is worth reading if you aren't sure of its value. In short, an estate plan determines:
- How and by whom your assets will be managed for your benefit during your lifetime if you ever become unable to manage them yourself.
- When and under what circumstances it makes sense to distribute your assets during your lifetime.
- How and to whom your assets will be distributed after your death.
- How and by whom your personal care will be managed and how health care decisions will be made during your lifetime if you become unable to care for yourself.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide legal advice. For legal advice on any of the information in this post, please use the form to the right or contact us by phone at 805-963-9721.