Millions of Americans invest in retirement accounts to save for their long-term needs, but what about shorter-term or intermediate goals, such as:
- Buying a home or car
- Renovating your current home
- Taking a dream vacation
Investing for shorter-term goals may mean using a less aggressive strategy. Some individuals may choose to invest money in the stock market, while others may prefer to put the money in a bank savings account or a money market fund that carries less risk.
Investing a portion of your savings in the market may be more suitable if you expect to buy a new car or take that dream vacation several years from now, are saving for a house or a second home, or have other intermediate to long-term goals.
Mutual funds could be an option
If you’re willing to take some investment risk for potential appreciation beyond most banks and money market funds, Thrivent offers a couple of conservative bond funds.
Like nearly all mutual funds, they provide liquidity for investors who may need their money on short notice. Just keep in mind that the amount of money available to you would vary, depending on the performance of the funds:
- Thrivent Government Bond Fund seeks total return, consistent with preservation of capital. The Fund primarily invests in securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or its agencies and instrumentalities.
- Thrivent Limited Maturity Bond Fund seeks a high level of current income consistent with stability of principal. This fund invests primarily in investment-grade corporate bonds, government bonds, asset-backed securities, mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations.
- Another option, if you hope to use your investment savings in the next five to 10 years, is a more moderate and diversified mutual fund, such as an asset allocation fund. These funds invest in a diverse portfolio of stocks, bonds, and other investments.
Investment accounts for your interim goals
The mutual fund you invest in is one consideration. Another consideration is what type of account you will put your funds into.
Accounts you could consider:
General Investment Accounts – a few points
General investment accounts are taxable accounts that are often used when saving for interim goals.
- Investors oftentimes seek general investment accounts because of the flexibility they provide.
- Funds can be withdrawn, penalty-free, in the near-term if you need or want – although you will pay taxes on dividends and capital gains.
- Thrivent offers taxable accounts with the flexibility of either single or joint ownership.
- You could set up an investment account with Thrivent mutual funds for as little as $50 a month.
Tax-advantaged savings accounts can also help you save for interim goals, but with several more limitations.
- These accounts typically offer several investment options, including mutual funds of various risk levels, and money market funds for shorter-term savings.
- A Roth IRA could allow you to withdraw the basis (the money you contributed) first. The basis would not be taxable upon withdrawal because those dollars were already taxed before they entered the Roth IRA account, if you or your spouse have earned income and meet the income requirements. Learn about Thrivent’s investment accounts.
No matter how you choose to invest – be sure to weigh your options and carefully consider the risks.