As people age, so do their priorities. Many of us want the same things in life: a family, a nice home, a steady paycheck, the occasional night out with our partner, and perhaps a bit of travel. By thinking strategically about our investments and having a sound understand about what we want in life, we can set ourselves up for success.

25 to 35

At this age, you’ve finished with your schooling and you’ve landed your first “real” job. You may be looking at a mountain of student loans to pay off, which is why many people in this age group aren’t investing these days. You might also be saving for a home.

Do your best to put at least 10% of your income away for retirement. Increase that amount just slightly whenever you get a raise. Be sure to take advantage of your employer-sponsored 401k and start an IRA. Even if you don’t fund these accounts to capacity, you’ll create a good habit.

35 to 55

During this period, people worry about saving for their child’s education and possibly moving into a bigger home. You’ve probably cemented yourself in your career at this point, so your income has become predictable. However, this is a critical time in your life. There’s still some time to take advantage of compound interest, so ramp up your retirement savings.

If you can, bump up your savings to 20% of your income and increase it steadily over the years. Drop bonuses into your investment accounts after you take a slim piece for yourself. You need to be investing outside of your typical tax-deferred accounts.

Make sure your portfolio is sufficiently diversified. This a great time to get into real estate because there are still plenty of years to collect the rent checks and bolster your savings.

55 to retirement

At this point in your life, you’ll be concerned more about protecting your assets than pursuing growth. You’ll want to ensure that your income continues once you stop working. During this time you’ll want to begin shifting your assets into fixed-income securities. This is another reason we so strongly recommend real estate for older investors. You can maintain regular income and the overall value of your investment (the asset itself – the property) rarely devalues.

After retirement

At some point, you’ll want to start withdrawing that money.

On one hand, you want to withdraw enough to live comfortably. After all, what was the point of all that saving if you can’t have the life you want? But on the other hand, you want to leave as much money in your investment vehicles as you can so the returns keep piling up.

This is a tricky situation and you should consult a financial advisor. The advisor will help you calculate the “sweet spot” you should withdraw to keep the money flowing in while living a good life. He’ll also talk with you about taxes and how you can reallocate investments as needed.

diversified value real estate investment firmWritten by Mark A. Mascia, President and CEO of Mascia Development

Mark manages the investment and operating activities of Mascia Development, a diversified value real estate investment firm that acquires, owns and manages retail, medical office, family offices, multi-family, and industrial real estate properties in the most promising long term growth areas nationwide. Through crowdfunding, they create powerful real estate opportunities for high net worth individuals.

A fully integrated real estate company, Mascia Development has in-house capabilities in acquisitions, financing, re-development, and construction; and their principals have experience in property and portfolio management, leasing, and maintenance.

Mark has a strong career in real estate, previously managing a property of portfolios valued over $1.1 billion. Mark has worked at Archstone-Smith (a former publicly traded REIT) and Monument Realty, one of the largest office real estate developers in the Washington, DC metro area. Mark teaches real estate development and finance at New York University.

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