50 ways to improve your finances in 2015 – Pt 3

~Here are 21-30 hope these tips find you well~

From USNews 12/11/14

21. Remember the risk-versus-reward rule.

Along with the importance of diversity, the risk-versus-reward tradeoff is one of the classic rules of investing: If you want higher rewards, you have to take on greater risk. Assess your risk profile and invest accordingly. If you like to know your money is safe, you probably want to keep it in more conservative investments.

22. Start early, invest often.

The power of compounding means saving early will lead to a much bigger nest egg at retirement time than waiting to save until midcareer. If your company offers a matching-contribution program for your retirement plan, taking advantage of it will only add to your saving efforts.

23. Don’t try to time the market.

Since it’s impossible to predict the market’s fluctuations, investing at a slow and steady pace, like through automatic deductions from a biweekly paycheck, can be a better strategy than dropping money into the market whenever it looks promising.

24. Consider your time horizon.

As retirement gets closer, you’ll want to shift into more conservative accounts. A general rule of thumb is to subtract your age from 100 or 110. Put that percent in stocks and the rest in more conservative investing vehicles, like bonds.

25. Don’t follow the market every day.

The market goes up and down, and if you’re investing for the long term, there’s no need to stress over every dip. Instead, check in with your portfolio once a quarter to rebalance it, and make any other necessary adjustments.

[Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App]

26. Consider working with a professional.

If handling your own money makes you nervous, there’s nothing wrong with seeking professional advice. Consider a fee-only advisor to avoid conflicts of interest. Your employer might also offer free retirement investing assistance.

27. Calculate your retirement number.

Retirement calculators, which are readily available online, make it easy to estimate how much money you should save before retirement. Since $1 million would provide around $50,000 worth of income over 20 years, you probably want to aim for more than that, depending on your lifestyle costs.

28. Take baby steps.

Putting 10 percent or more of your income toward retirement can be overwhelming. Savers often have more success by starting small and putting just 2 or 3 percent of their income away, and then slowly increasing that rate over time.

29. Check your Social Security statement online.

The Social Security Administration used to mail out statements explaining estimated benefits to workers each year. Now, for most Americans, paper statements come only once every five years. Workers can visit SocialSecurity.gov to create their account and check their estimated future benefits online anytime.

30. Save even when you’re not earning.

The plethora of retirement account options make it possible to continue saving even when you’re not employed in a full-time job. Roth IRAs and spousal IRAs are among the options; check your eligibility and then consider contributing.

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