7 Replies Latest reply on Jan 15, 2014 4:51 PM by hredinger

    Starting a business

    ctcccc
      Has one used retirement funds to start a business? If so what percentage and are there benchmarks  (ie less than 20 percent)
        • Re: Starting a business
          MyR Community Manager
          ctcccc, thank you for creating a new discussion thread! We appreciate and enjoy your participation in the MyRetirement.org online community and look forward to your future contributions.
          • Re: Starting a business
            JerryD

            After getting out of the work world where I was frequently looking for yet another job, I was glad to just get out of that rat race. Let me suggest another option. By educating myself and developing a very conservative, never-lose value investment approach I am now earning way more on my retirement funds than I ever did while working and I had some pretty decent jobs (while I worked in later years). 

            All I am suggesting is that one consider the options before launching into a demanding situation like one's own business. We looked at a number of franchises and over and over concluded that one needed to have probably $300,000 and 5 years of very hard work to maybe get a good business. I wasn't up to that risk, work and possible serious disappointment.

            Just my personal opinion.

              • Re: Starting a business
                ctcccc
                Thank you for your frank assessment.  It is what I need to make an objective and realistic assessment.
                • Re: Starting a business
                  RBDavidson
                  JerryD, Really impressed by what you have been able to do. Do you have any recommendations for how to best get educated and any suggestions for building investments while not working?
                    • Re: Starting a business
                      JerryD
                      The kind of "education" I got was from experience and interest. I have spent a lot of time on investment literature and financial reading, even writing investment software. My education goes back a bit and some of the experiences were NOT pleasant. Fortunately, there are now investments that don't require one to know how to read financial documents (I certainly don't and have no interest in learning).

                      The Internet is an incredible means for educating yourself. Joining and participating in a forum like this is a means to educate. I also recommend that you join up on the www.morningstar.com "Discuss" forums, especially the one specific to TIAA-CREF (TC) investments. The participants over there are largely working and retired and very smart educators with many years of TC experience and a very, very helpful and patient attitude. You can learn just by following the discussions and when you are comfortable you can pose specific questions and receive excellent advice.
                       
                      We are both fortunate to have TIAA-CREF as our investment firm because they are not profit motivated and customer service and education is a major part of their business plan. TC also has available to us a small number of good retirement investment choices. In my opinion one of the most discouraging things an investor faces when trying to come up to speed is the availability of 1,000's of choices for individual and fund investments. It's exhausting trying to learn about them and differentiate between them. TC offers a very manageable number of accounts that resemble exchange traded funds (ETF's) which offer wide diversification and risk aversion.
                       
                      If you venture into investing outside of TC, consider utilizing a very small number of ETF's that cover your areas of interest.
                       
                      By the way, even though I sound like a TC advertisement, I have absolutely no association with TC other than being a participant. After years of following and chasing mutual funds I consolidated all of our retirement assets at TC mainly for the reasons stated above. My focus on ETF's actually was kindled by an excellent advisory service for mutual fund investing that I participated in for decades.
                       
                      Good luck and just dive in! Starting is a major step that can lead to good investing.

                        • Re: Starting a business
                          RBDavidson
                          Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. This is really helpful. I am going to do just as you say, and jump in! Take care.
                            • Re: Starting a business
                              hredinger
                              your own business does not need to be a large or expensive one.  Of course it also depends on how much income you expect from it.  I am not retired yet. I am still working full time but I have started my own business as a silversmith and plan that when I retire in 4-5 yrs my business will bring the extra income I need to live comfortably.  Setting up shop in my garage, cost me about $5,000 plus another $1000 in books, training and workshops. My sales are mostly private and I joined a couple of shows for fun. I started 4 yrs ago, I do mostly custom pieces so the money is good. I also plan to open an online store (like Esty) and eventually will have my own webpage. May be you have a talent that you can develop into a small business.  This way you have income doing something you like.