Sheri Bechtel is the share trading and investing editor at Finder, where she mentors writers to break down complicated topics like asset allocation, capital gains and expense ratios into concepts even newbies can understand. She’s always up on the hottest IPOs to have on your radar, and makes frequent appearances on Finder’s YouTube channel as an investing expert. Sheri has 20 years of experience covering the financial markets, from stocks to bonds and everything in between. Her expertise has been featured on Yahoo News, Black Enterprise and Money Alignment Academy’s LifeBlood podcast, among others.
- Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
- Index funds
- Formerly the underwriters and dealers reporter for The Bond Buyer, a 100 year-old newspaper covering the municipal bond market
- Covered munis, investment-grade debt, convertibles, structured products, PIPEs and other topics for Prospect News, a financial newsletter company based in the heart of New York’s Financial District
- Featured on Yahoo News, Black Enterprise, CUbroadcast podcast, Money Buffalo and the LifeBlood podcast
- Earned over 25,000 views on Finder YouTube video features
- Confessed bonds nerd
- Bachelor of Arts in English | Columbus State University | 1995–1999
- Black Enterprise
- CUbroadcast, a credit union talkshow
- Money Alignment Academy’s LifeBlood podcast
- Money Buffalo
- Yahoo News
Industry insights from Sheri Bechtel
We asked Sheri to flex her expertise by answering a few questions about the three best things you can do to prepare for retirement.
Q. What’s the No. 1 thing you recommend for people who don’t know where to start when it comes to retirement savings?
It’s never too late, and it’s never too early. Even if you’re in your 40s or 50s, you can still make changes and put money aside to make your retirement so much easier. Check your employer’s 401(k) offerings. If they match your contributions, take advantage of this. This is essentially free money, and no one wants to leave free money on the table! If you’re younger, don’t assume you have all the time in the world. Lean into the magic of compound interest to grow your wealth so that when you retire, you’re financially comfortable.
Q. How much money do you need to begin investing for retirement?
First and foremost, try not to invest until you’ve paid off most or all of your unsecured debts. Eliminating debt is a huge gateway toward investing for retirement because you can convert those high interest payments into contributions toward your nest egg. Any amount is better than nothing. Micro-investing has taken off thanks in no small part to investing apps like Acorns. As long as you’re contributing consistently, that’s what matters. If you’re in your 20s, compounding interest is your friend. Any small amount that you can invest will compound over time and turn into significant savings. Taking advantage of your employer’s 401(k) plan is the easiest retirement investing option, because it invests that money right out of your paycheck. No muss, no fuss. And if your employer doesn’t offer a 401(k), consider opening an individual retirement account (IRA) and squirrel away as much as you can afford.
Q. When should I retire?
This is tricky, because people retire for a wide range of reasons. Just keep in mind, if you retire too early, you could leave a lot of money on the table. For example, if you retire at age 62, which is the earliest age at which you can receive Social Security benefits, you’ll lose 30% of your benefit amount. But if you wait until you’re 67, you’ll receive your full benefit amount. On the other hand, if you work until you’re 70, you’ll increase your benefit amount by 24%! That’s a lot of extra cash for your golden years.
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