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Start Investing for Retirement, Not Saving

It’s never too early to start saving for retirement. But if you want to protect your money from inflation, you should really be investing for retirement.


Today, I want to emphasize the importance of investing for retirement rather than simply saving. That’s doubly important if you’ve reached a certain age. What age is that? Well, I’ll tell you…

Age 55: The Year Everything Changes

Lots of workers have to battle their way through every week, from the drudgery of Monday to the heart-warming bliss of Friday. They see the days coming and they know what to expect. And it’s just about the same for the months, with people scanning the horizon for the next holiday or vacation.

But the decades do just tend to slip by most of us. You never see them coming and then one day they suddenly walk up behind you and slap you on the back of the head.

You know this is true, whether you’re an antique yourself or simply hang around with older folks. One constant conversational theme for people who’ve turned the odometer over a few times is, “Where did the time go?”


My contention is that most of us manage to put off thinking too hard about our financial futures until we hit 55. That’s the year you stop counting up and start counting down.

At that age, you’re at or near the peak of your earning power. You’ve weathered house payments, car payments, your kids’ education and weddings and you’re now an empty nester. And suddenly the big SIX-FIVE, the traditional retirement age, is close enough that you can count the years on your fingers.

For many people, it’s a big wake-up call. And for even more, it’s a moment of sheer panic. And that’s because the retirement planning that you’ve been working at haphazardly is suddenly looking totally inadequate.

How inadequate? Well, a survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Greenwald & Associates says that just a third of all workers have $250,000 or more in their retirement savings.

Since I tend to regard Cabot readers as superior in every way, I’m assuming that your retirement preparations are much further along than the average.

But just in case they’re not, I want to make two points. First, no matter what you’re doing, you need to stop thinking about saving for retirement and start thinking about investing for retirement.

The Power of Investing for Retirement

Saving for retirement is the tired old idea that you spend your working life filling up a bucket of money and then start ladling it out slowly when you retire.

But any money that you have in an actual savings account is pretty much wasted, since your rate of return on a bank savings account guarantees that your money will be constantly losing purchasing power as inflation eats away at it.

If you want to get ahead in a capitalist society, you need to be making capital investments. If your money isn’t working hard for you, it’s just sitting there losing value - hence the importance of investing for retirement.

My second point is that the appropriate person to be in charge of your retirement assets is you. Yes, you can turn the job over to a financial planner, a stockbroker, a mutual fund salesman or your brother-in-law.

But nobody is going to pay closer attention to your investments, or keep your best interests in mind, or charge you lower fees, than you, yourself.

So if you’ve just hit the double nickels (that’s 55 for those of you who don’t remember the citizen’s band radio craze) and you need a trustworthy partner to help you get your retirement funds working for you, consider Cabot. We’ve been at this for over 50 years, and we know what we’re doing. We also know what you should be doing.

The style of investing that you choose is up to you. If you have a high risk tolerance and like the idea of building a small portfolio of attractive stocks, Cabot Growth Investor or Cabot Explorer are just what you need. Each advisory features a portfolio of growth stocks, each with a strong story, a solid history of revenue and earnings growth and a chart that reflects enthusiastic acceptance by the investing world.

Each advisory also keeps close tabs on the momentum of the stock markets themselves, advising subscribers when conditions are right to increase exposure and when it’s prudent to dial back on stocks and go to cash.

Cabot has a full roster of investment advisories, including the value style, small-cap stocks, options, income stocks and digests of recommendations from many different advisors. One of them will be just right for you as you take charge and face the decade leading up to your retirement.

Have you started taking steps to invest for retirement instead of just saving for it?


*This post is periodically updated to reflect market conditions.

Nancy Zambell has spent 30 years educating and helping individual investors navigate the minefields of the financial industry. She has created and/or written numerous investment publications, including UnDiscovered Stocks, UnTapped Opportunities, and Nancy Zambell’s Buried Treasures under $10. Nancy has worked with for many years as an editor and interviewer for their on-site video studios.