5 Types of Investments Americans Use to Save for Retirement

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We all want a fat nest egg. How we get one differs from person to person.

Where do you invest retirement money? Some of us are comfortable taking a chance on high-flying stocks. Others prefer to stay grounded in the safety of bonds and cash.

Recently, the investment management corporation BlackRock asked nearly 3,000 savers and retirees to describe which types of investments they use to save for retirement. Following are the places today’s savers put their money to work.

ETFs

ETF
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Respondents who use this type of investment for retirement savings: 16%

The first American ETF (exchange-traded fund) launched in 1993, and in recent years, this type of investment has become increasingly popular.

Not everybody loves ETFs: John Bogle, the legendary founder of Vanguard, famously dismissed them.

But unlike mutual funds — which trade at one price after each day’s market close — ETFs trade at different prices throughout the day. They also tend to have lower costs than many mutual funds.

Not sure if ETFs are right for you? Check out Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson’s take in “Should I Invest With ETFs?

Annuities

Annuity
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Respondents who use this type of investment for retirement savings: 21%

Some experts feel annuities are underappreciated and should be a bigger part of retirement planning. In fact, during the Obama administration, government officials made a push to marry more retirees to this largely unloved option.

Does an annuity belong in your nest egg? Stacy gives his 2 cents in “Should You Buy an Annuity? The Pros and Cons.”

Cash

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Respondents who use this type of investment for retirement savings: 46%

The old saying “cash is king” rings true with the nearly half of Americans who are keeping at least some of their retirement savings in greenbacks. Unlike stocks, cash doesn’t end up whipsawed from soaring highs to plummeting lows.

But that doesn’t mean cash is a completely safe way to store your money. Inflation can erode the value of cash over time.

And if you do something silly, your cash could disappear even faster, as we explain in “6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home.”

Individual securities

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Respondents who use this type of investment for retirement savings: 47%

Individual securities include stocks, bonds and options. They offer less diversification than investing in most mutual funds or ETFs. That means your potential for either big gains or large losses may be magnified.

If you want to try your hand at picking individual stocks, be sure to check out Stacy’s insights in “How to Pick Winning Stocks, Step by Step.”

Mutual funds

Mutual funds
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Respondents who use this type of investment for retirement savings: 49%

Millions of Americans trust mutual funds to do the work of building a large nest egg, and with good reason.

These funds provide high levels of diversification. You can choose index funds that include shares in hundreds or even thousands of companies. As Stacy has said:

“A mutual fund, for those of you who don’t know, is simply a portfolio of stocks or other securities carved up into little slices. So instead of owning one stock, you own a bit of a whole bunch of different stocks. That’s a lot less risky.”

Other

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Respondents who use this type of investment for retirement savings: 27%

There are many ways you can save for retirement that go beyond purchasing stocks or stuffing cash into a bank account.

Some people choose to fund their retirement with investments in rental properties. Others purchase cryptocurrency in hopes of getting rich. Entrepreneurs may pin their retirement hopes on the investment they make in their small businesses.

More than one-quarter of American savers put at least some of their retirement savings into an investment not listed previously.

How should you save for retirement?

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While it’s fun to see how others save for retirement, you shouldn’t necessarily follow the crowd. The best retirement plan is one that suits your individual wants and needs.

Money Talks News offers a lot of articles about different aspects of saving for retirement. Start with “7 Tips to Retire with a Million-Dollar Nest Egg.”

Then, check out articles such as:

Once you’ve got a sense of the basics, consider lifting your knowledge to the level of an expert by enrolling in the Money Talks News course Money Made Simple.

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