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Retirement Obsession Disorder

October 17, 2012

There are certain phenomena that can only be explained through experience.  Once such event is what happens when you achieve the age of fifty.

When I was thirty, my viewpoint of those meeting the mid-century milestone was a bit jaded.  It seemed that the “older” generation’s musical tastes included artists such as Johnny Mathis, Andy Williams and perhaps the more wild confessed to owning an Elvis record or two.  This graying set drove large, boat-like cars, the men wore their pants a bit higher and tended to schedule their dinner out earlier.  They never could effectively communicate with us younger types and seemed overly concerned with their investments.  Certainly I would never become like them.

Then I turned fifty.

Everything changed – perhaps not all at once, but certainly in rapid fashion.  Let’s see.  My musical tastes tend to be reunion tours of geriatric groups such as the Eagles, Bruce Springsteen, and even an occasional Broadway musical.  I now drive a Cadillac, though I would like to point out that it isn’t the size of my Father’s car.  While the waistline of my pants hasn’t risen too much, I must confess, I have become more obsessed than ever with funding my retirement.

The equation is quite simple.  If I want to retire at age 65, I now have 15 years to take what I have managed to save so far, contribute more to it, and invest it wisely enough to live out my years in blissful retirement.  This may be easy to understand, yet hard to execute, especially if the gains are subject to taxation.  It becomes even more difficult when traditional, relatively “safe” investments are providing sub-standard yields.

Retirement obsession disorder (ROD) has hit me hard.  One cure that I have found to this malady is self-direction of my retirement plan – and partnering with smart people that can help guide me to the best combination of risk/reward  to accomplish my objectives.  Through a self-directed IRA, I am able to reinvest my returns, without the tax toll gate that diminish the gains of those who choose to use after-tax money for those same investments.  Rental real estate, private lending, and new business start-ups are all part of my IRA investments, along with a few Wall Street funds.

As the principal of NuView IRA, a self-directed IRA administrator in Florida, I share the perspective of thousands of clients investing hundreds of millions of dollars with the objective of improving their retirement outcomes.  If you suffer from ROD, seize control of your retirement funds and start self-directing your IRA.  Stay involved, save slavishly and invest in things you know and understand.  If you are over fifty, best of luck avoiding those pesky AARP applications.  If you are younger, listen to your elders and start your retirement early, much earlier than I did.

All the best in your investments,