Retirement is one of the happier times of life, a period that should be marked with extreme satisfaction, unending peace, and deep joy from the years of hard work, perseverance, and your numerous experiences. However, sound financial standing is at the heart of achieving this peace of mind, and it requires strong foresight, commitment, and vigilance to maximize return on investments.
Several vehicles are potent enough to deliver long-term value and success at the time of retirement. Some of the best retirement investment vehicles vary in terms of the underlying concept and rely heavily on the general characteristics of the investor.
One of the easier investment vehicles to get your head around, mutual funds are of multiple types and each fund has an objective of its own. These funds are usually invested in stocks or bonds, and the overall profit is distributed among the many participating investors. These are registered with the Securities Exchange Commission and regulated under the Investment Company Act of 1940.
Mutual funds that make for some of the best retirement investments are Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 Fund (ticker: VTTHX) for investors expecting to retire in 2035, Northern Global Tactical Asset Allocation Fund (BBALX) that has additional asset classes like infrastructure and real estate, and Baird Aggregate Bond Fund (BAGIX) that focuses on investment discipline and risk control.
Somewhat underappreciated, real estate can be one of the best retirement investments, largely due to the predictability of cash flow. The returns are excellent, and the various tax advantages are an added benefit.
Real estate investors can also make money through rental income, property-dependent business activity, and appreciation. Rent, just like the value of the property, increases with time and can be leveraged at any time for a better investment opportunity.
Unlike any other asset except real estate, annuities guarantee an income for the rest of your life. These are contracts between an individual and an insurance company to cover a specific kind of goal, in this case, retirement. Annuities became popular during the Great Depression as stock market volatility threatened to wipe out retirement plans.
They are structured in multiple ways and work just like insurance, where you pay the company regular premiums. This is called the accumulation phase and continues for a specific period, and it is followed by the payout phase where you start receiving capital.
Less volatile and safer than stocks, a bond is a form of loan to the government or any other organization, in return for which the borrower pays interest until maturity. The market value of bonds varies in accordance with the bond’s interest rate and the prevailing interest at the time of valuation.
Like real estate, bonds offer a predictable stream of income. They are also less likely to lose money as compared to stocks and are the safest and the best liquid retirement investments on the planet.