LS: Investment worries? Talk to a financial adviser

These days, when retirees or people close to retirement call Bill Haggerty they have one question.

“What’s going to happen to my retirement funds?”

Haggerty, an independent financial analyst with Primerica Financial Services, said the answer to that question depends on the investment. If they had money in high-risk stocks, that money likely was lost.

If the money is in lower-risk investments such as government-backed treasury bills or CDs, then the money is safer.

Instead of going into a panic about the economic situation, people should consult their financial adviser to get the correct answers, Haggerty said.

“I believe strongly in mutual funds,” Haggerty said. “Mutual funds are a fund of a whole bunch of stocks or bonds, so if one stumbles, you have the rest to hold it up.”

Haggerty suggested people invest in real estate, but real estate appropriate for a person’s income level.

“I believe the financial markets brought a lot of their own problems on themselves because they were issuing really poor mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them,” Haggerty said.

Here are Haggerty’s tips for people interested in what to do now with retirement funds or to plan for the future:

1. Fund a ROTH Individual Retirement Account (IRA). The money is taxed when it is put in a ROTH IRA, which is different than with traditional IRAs. When you take the money out of a ROTH IRA, it’s not taxed. “It’s by far the greatest thing that’s ever occurred to middle America.”

2. Pay yourself first. Set aside 10 to 15 percent of every paycheck at the beginning of the month for a retirement fund. “It forces people to live within their means,” he said.

3. Talk to an expert.


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