I doubt very much that upon entering your first job, the thought of retirement was anywhere close to the front of your mind. I know it wasn't in mine. Not with said job, rent, student loans, car insurance, groceries, all the rest staring me in the face. I remember being handed a sheet of paper about my company's 401(k), checking off a couple of funds, and that was it for two years. Turns out I owned bonds, emerging markets, and a mid-cap growth fund. If I could reach back in time and smack 21-year old me in the head, I would.

Point is, pensions are going away, and the onus for retirement saving is on us. At present time, the resources provided by most employers to new employees are not adequate. I'm not talking about the availability of retirement plans, but the education provided to employees as to the value of saving, and equally as important: HOW TO SAVE.

Over the next several weeks I am going to expand on several ways that young professionals can take control of their financial lives - both in terms of saving for retirement and being "financially agile" - so that they are able to meet the financial challenges that are sure to happen to any young adult. Topics covered will include:

  • Determining how much to begin saving in your employer sponsored retirement plan
  • Looking past the name of the fund - and finding out which investment options are best for you.
  • How and when to rebalance your assets - and why you should be doing this!
  • 401(k) or Roth IRA - how to choose which retirement plan will provide the greatest benefit.
  • Living debt free - specifically credit card debt free (full disclosure: I consider credit cards to be evil).
  • Saving for major purchases - such as a home or new car.

My goal is to provide simple ideas that if implemented over time will have a big impact on your future. If you have questions or topics that you'd like to have discussed, please e-mail me and I'll make them part of the conversation.

Chuck Wade

(This article contains the current opinions of the author but not necessarily those of Brighton Securities Corp. The author's opinions are subject to change without notice. This blog post is for informational purposes only. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. References to specific securities and their issuers are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended and should not be interpreted as recommendations to purchase or sell such securities).