NEW YORK – No matter what stage of your life you are in, a strong financial plan is important. It’s never too early to start thinking about buying a home, saving up for retirement, sending your kids to college, or even what you will leave behind for loved ones when you are away. Big decisions like these can be daunting, especially in an uncertain economy. Here are some tips from Ridgewood Savings Bank’s Infinex financial advisors to help you secure your financial future:
1. Diversify with a mutual fund
Stock investing can be intimidating due to the added risk over traditional banking products. However, you can offset some risk through diversification strategies. Mutual funds invest in a wide range of securities so that your investment risk is spread. Index funds, which include all (or at least the vast majority) stocks and bonds of a benchmark index like the S&P 500 or NASDAQ 100, are a good place to start. The world’s most famous investor, Warren Buffett, has been encouraging her for years. He’s so confident in them that he even wagered $ 1 million that they would outperform a representative sample of risky hedge funds, and it looks like he’s going to win.
Whether you’re looking for steady growth with minimal risk or a more aggressive long-term investment strategy, there is a mutual fund for you. And it’s probably easier than you think. “Most people think mutual funds are made for high net worth investors,” said Mark Azizian, Infinex financial advisor at Ridgewood Savings Bank, for people who can contribute about $ 50 a month. What’s even better is that with mutual funds, you can adjust your investment strategy at any time or withdraw money if necessary. “
2. Prepare for retirement with an annuity
If your retirement strategy includes an IRA or 401 (k), you can also invest in an annuity. Similar to other pension vehicles, the pension income is deferred for tax purposes. However, a major advantage of pensions is that there are no contribution restrictions, as there are with most other retirement plans.
Annuities, like mutual funds, come in many different shapes and sizes. If you don’t need annuity payments for many years, a variable annuity with payouts tied to the performance of your investments might be for you. As you approach or retire, fixed annuities that come with higher fees but offer guaranteed fixed payments can be a good option.
Deciding what type of pension to choose, how much to contribute and how aggressively to invest depends on a number of factors. “We work closely with our clients to understand their financial picture, retirement goals and risk tolerance so we can recommend pensions that meet their needs,” said Mark Azizian, Infinex financial advisor at Ridgewood Savings Bank.
3. Invest in higher education
Whether you’re looking to start saving for your children’s future, have grandchildren who need help paying college, or are thinking of going back to school yourself, a 529 plan is a great investment tool. The income from your contributions to these plans is deferred for tax purposes, withdrawals to pay tuition and other qualifying expenses are typically tax-free, and New York taxpayers are eligible for a state income tax deduction. Contact your tax advisor for more information.
Get the guidance you need. The experts at Ridgewood Savings Bank answer your questions, walk you through your 529 plan options, and craft a personalized strategy that suits you.
4. Don’t leave home without life insurance
You never know when the unthinkable will happen – but when you have loved ones who can count on you, life insurance should be part of your financial strategy. Depending on your age, income, and other factors such as the number and age of dependents, your financial advisor can recommend a variety of affordable plans that include both full and term life insurance.
Visit www.ridgewoodbank.com or call (888) 373-9840 to learn more about our financial services and to contact a financial advisor.
Investment and insurance products and services are offered through INFINEX INVESTMENTS, INC. Member of FINRA / SIPC offered. Ridgewood Financial Services Corporation is a subsidiary of Ridgewood Savings Bank. Infinex and the bank are not affiliated.
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES AVAILABLE THROUGH INFINEX ARE NOT INSURED BY THE FDIC OR ANY OTHER UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE AND ARE NOT A DEPOSIT OR OBLIGATION BY ANY BANK OR BANKING COMPANY. THESE PRODUCTS ARE SUBJECT TO AN INVESTMENT RISK, INCLUDING THE POSSIBLE LOSS OF VALUE.