If you’re just starting out — or even if you’re not — consider ways to boost your income. This may mean a career change, or it may mean simply adding more hours on to your current schedule. Either way, take steps to build your investments.
4. Do better with your investments
This is a two-pronged approach: First, ensure that you earn at least the market return by owning total market index funds with the lion’s share of your portfolio. Picking stocks based on “feel” is likely to land you in hot water, and selling investments too soon is likely to inflate your tax bill. Be prepared to hold funds for the long term, and stick to a passive, whole-market strategy.
Second, be sure to keep costs as low as possible. A traditional advisor’s fee can run 1% or higher, and when that’s translated to dollar terms, it can leave you six figures in the red over a period of many years. As time goes on, the compounded value of these fees can meaningfully eat in to the value of your retirement portfolio. Ensure that you are taking a low-cost approach to maximize the value of your hard-earned money.