Just because you retire doesn't mean your money has to. You can maximize your retirement with conservative investments. You can add to your investments by liquidating your unused assets such as second cars and second homes. Selling your excess will give you immediate income and more money to wisely invest because you're not wasting it on maintaining, storing and insuring extra stuff. Making the most of your money in retirement is making the most of your life.
Postponing Social Security
"A few years of work can make retirees in 2030 as well off as those in the current generation," maintain Alicia Munnell and co-author Steven Sass in "Working Longer: The Solution to the Retirement Income Challenge." Most people retire at 62 and receive Social Security benefits of $1,000, as of 2010. Extending your working life eight more years until you are 70 would increase your monthly benefits to $1,700. Your savings investments grow, your Social Security grows and the years that your retirement savings must cover will be less. Visit ssa.gov to calculate your estimated Social Security benefits.
Annuities have a higher payout than U.S. bonds or bank-issued CDs. If you are a 70-year-old man and you invest $100,000, as of 2010, in New York Life, for example, you would receive a $640 monthly payment on the principal. Annuities expire when you do and if the insurer goes defunct, so does your investment.
Conservative stock investments will increase your retirement income by at least two percent annually, including dividends, if maintained for extended periods, according to the S&P 500 stock index. If, for example, you had invested 2010 in successful stocks such as India's leading stocks, you would have increased your retirement income from between 16 to 17 percent, according to "The Wall Street Journal." Acquiring reputable stocks at the beginning of your retirement will give the option of selling off one or two percent each year later on when you may rely more heavily on your retirement investment income.
As of 2010, stock mutual funds yield on average 14.4 percent, according to The Best-Performing Investments of 2010 in "The Wall Street Journal." Balanced mutual funds, a mixture of two thirds stocks and one third bonds, yield between 6 percent to 12 percent. "Monthly Income Plans" known as balanced mutual funds are comprised of 25 percent stocks and 75 percent bonds. Bond mutual funds are short-term bonds and yield an average of 4.5 percent. Fixed bank deposits yield from between 6.5 to 7 percent.
Silver was No. 1 in performance in asset classes in 2010. Investors received a 66 percent increase in the value of their investment in silver in 2010. However, only 10 percent of your retirement investments should be in commodities such as silver and gold, according to "The Wall Street Journal." Silver may also be difficult to sell on short-term notice.
As of 2010, the price of gold has increased by 27 percent, according to the Bombay Bullion Association. You can buy actual gold or you can invest in gold online by purchasing gold ETFs. An ETF provider buys gold for you proportionate to your investment and keeps it in a bank vault. It is held in an electronic account in the investor's name and you can trade it on the stock exchange like stock. Benchmark's Gold BeEs ETF, for example, gained 19.6 percent in 2010. Gold is predicted to remain strong in 2011, according to the BBA. Investing in gold during your retirement will give you a strong commodity that can be traded or sold later as needed.
Tracy Stefan began writing professionally in 2007, with work appearing on various websites. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and performing arts from the Evergreen State College. Stefan is also a graduate of Dell'Arte.