Review: 5 Things You Need to Know to Reach Your Financial Goals

This is one of the best retirement “tips” articles I’ve read in a long time.

Retirement is generally pretty straightforward. It’s a lot like losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle. Everyone kind of knows what they need to do to reach their goals, at least in a general way, but very few people actually want to do them. It’s much more fun to take a vacation, or go out to dinner all the time than it is to plan for retirement.

This article drives the point home pretty effectively – and focuses your attention on the really big picture things. It doesn’t do you any good to worry about the faucet fixtures if you haven’t built the house yet.

All of the tips are good. Normally, this is where I pick out one that I disagree with or think needs some “clarification.” That’s not really necessary here. But there is one that I do want to elaborate on.

The first thing the article points out is probably the most important – saving is more important than investing. This is 100% correct. We talk a lot about how you should invest, and don’t get me wrong – it’s really important (there’s a reason I’m here). But it’s all for naught if you don’t actually have anything saved to put to work.

Investing is about managing risk. Savings helps you sidestep that risk. The more you save, the less investment risk you need to take – either because you can use those savings to generate more reliable income, or you can accept a lower rate of return and still reach your goals.

If you’re starting to think about retirement, check out our ebook I Want to Retire Soon to find out what you should be thinking about, and how you can be preparing.


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