I am 52 have about 46000 which 10000 is an outstanding loan that I pay on.
I would agree with Michael about Target Date Funds - but you need to understand that they will go up and down with the market - so if you choose to invest your savings you need to be able to just keep the money going in and forget about the ups and downs. If you can't accept the fact that your account will sometimes go down, then you shouldn't invest in anything but guaranteed funds. This uncertainty is the "price" of long term investment growth. A fee only advisor can make an excellent coach, and would be worth paying a couple hours in fees.
My bigger concern for you is being 52 and only having net $36000 in retirement savings. I don't know anything about your lifestyle (what it costs you to live, how much you make) but unless you expect a very healthy pension benefit from your employer, you need to start saving much more aggressively. The amount you save will have greater impact than how you invest right now.
Thomas, though you would be reasonably safe selecting an age-based portfolio, my preference would be for you to take the Risk Tolerance questionnaire that your 401(k0 plan offers to you. This will take into account your risk tolerances and time horizon in what I feel is a more specific basis.
So, in the short term, I am recommending a risk based asset allocation fund; it would be labeled ‘Conservative’, ‘Moderate’, ‘Growth’ Asset Allocation Fund, or something very similar that matches your profile from the Risk Tolerance questionnaire.
In the long term, I suggest you take time to develop your own investment style or philosophy. That is, just do some research to understand how investments work, and how you feel personally about different types of risk. Again, this is long term; because you pay attention for 6 months or a year, don’t presume you are an expert. Then I would sit down with a qualified financial professional in your area, preferably a CFP® for some sound advice. At that point, you will have some understanding as to what the financial advisor is recommending. His/her advice may be along the lines of what you were thinking, or it may give you a whole new insight to investing.
The objective of you doing some research and forming an investment philosophy of your own is that when you sit down with a financial advisor and they make recommendations, you will have some idea if you are on the same page, rather than it just being gobbledygook coming from a man in a suit. You may need to talk to a few advisors to find one that you connect with.
Please start your journey with two thoughts from me. First, pay off your loan and get it out of your head that your retirement plan is a piggy bank; you should not, except for dire emergencies, be taking loans from your retirement plan. And of course, I don’t know the circumstances why you borrowed money previously, but I discourage the practice strongly. Second, I don’t know much of your financial situation, but at age 52, I would like to see you have more in retirement savings. I would encourage you to save more for retirement
Good afternoon Tom. Thank you for your question. It is a little difficult to suggest an investment options, based on just your age. In order to provide you with a proper recommendation we would need to know, your time horizon, risk tolerance as well as if you have any other accounts/assets allocated to the same goal and how they are invested (just to name the few). However when it comes down to evaluating your investment options you have two choices. 1. You can hire a fee only planner that can help you evaluate your options and help you select the right mix based on you personal situation. He/She will then review your portfolio with you to make sure it is adjusted as you are getting closer to using the money. 2. If you do not want to pay the fee, then I would suggest you pick an age based fund, they are offered in all retirement plans. You pick a fund based on the age when you would want to retire, for example, that fund is already diversified and will automatically get more conservative as you are getting closer. I believe that by paying to work with a planner you should see a better rate of return, however by using age based funds you should do better, then you trying to guess on what to own and when. 3. Of course the last option is to pick investments your self, which will take time and effort for you to research and evaluate as well as to make changes as market changes and you get older. I hope this helps, Please let me know if you have any questions Sincerely Michael Mezheritskiy, Founding Partner Visionary P.W.M.G.