Holly Garber started selling real estate when she was 18. She also bought her first house then.
“That was the beginning of my retirement plan,” says Garber, now 26, who owns her own real estate firm. “My plan was to buy 10 houses by the time I was 30 and use them for rental property.”
Garber has seven houses now. She lives in one of the houses with roommates and rents out the others. She also has a mutual fund. “That’s my version of diversification,” she says.
Of course, the real estate and fund markets took a big hit when the national economy began its downslide last year. Garber is a long way from retirement age, but economic news did cause her concern.
“I was definitely concerned, but I was not freaking out. I don’t freak out,” she says.
Garber has made it a point to talk with her financial adviser once a week to stay abreast of conditions.
“They had anticipated a little bit of what is going on, so my mutual fund has not gone down that much,” she says.
Garber also knows she can afford to take losses now because of her age.
“What’s wrong with a risk? I can start over again,” she says.
Garber has the right financial mindset for someone in their 20s or 30s, Lawrence financial advisers say. Their message: Don’t stop investing. Someone that age has plenty of time to wait for an economic recovery, they say.
“Even if they invest further, if they invest and keep investing, they will be accumulating shares at what will ultimately be shown to be low prices,” says Wayne McDaniel, of McDaniel & McDaniel Financial Services. “They must not get discouraged when they see their account is worth less than they put in because they are not throwing good money after bad.”
If your employer has a 401(k) retirement savings plan, get into it, says Andrew Garrison, adviser at Ameriprise Financial Services.
“Get into a 401(k) at any age; the earlier the better,” he says. “Especially if there are matching (employer) funds. That’s as free a money as you’ll ever find.”
Many people in their 20s and 30s have trouble just getting started saving for retirement, Garrison says. They are trying to save enough to buy a house, and they may have families.
“Keep retirement in your mind and save a little bit when you can,” he says. “It will certainly boost your chances of having a large amount of assets in the long run.”
Garber is optimistic about the nation’s economic future.
“Our country has certainly been through worse things,” she says. “I’ve got a lot of confidence in our leaders right now. We’ve got a lot of potential.”