I am risk averse. I only feel safe if my money is in the bank. What should I do if the stock markets make me nervous?
If you think the constant motion of the stock market makes you queasy, how does it feel if I guarantee that your plan fails by sticking your money in the bank? While I don’t want to minimize your fear of market fluctuation, I want you to understand that if inflation is 3% and you’re earning .5%, you are guaranteeing a loss of over 2.5% of your principal (including taxes) each year. Your purchasing power erodes year after year after year in which your assets do not exceed inflation and taxes. Step outside your comfort zone in order to move closer to your financial goals.
How much money will I need to retire?
The answer is as individual as snowflakes. The amount of money you will need to retire depends on many factors, such as how long you expect to live, what it costs you to live, and what factors can impact your financial longevity. It’s a simple question with a very difficult and complex answer—the number of variables is huge. The best answer is: It depends. However, don’t interpret this answer as an excuse to put planning your future to the side. In fact, it actually makes planning and the ongoing monitoring of your progress that much more important—and the uncovering of previously unknown information that much more vital.
How much and what type of life insurance is right for me?
Life insurance is a risk management tool intended to replace your income or cover a liability in case of death. If you need to replace your lifetime of income, you should do a calculation of how much you would need to sustain that income over the lifetime (or need time) of your heirs. As for type, if you have a lifetime need then a permanent policy is the safest bet, but keep in mind it is the most expensive. If you need to cover a 10-30 year need, then level term insurance makes more sense.