How Risky Should I Be With My Roth IRA Investments Since I Have So Long Before Retirement?

This is a great question because general advice you read online most likely says you need to be conservative and take as little risk as possible with your retirement investments - but the definitions of 'conservative' and 'minimal risk' may mean different things to different people and as we know, no two financial situations are the same.

• So first, take into consideration your age and time horizon (the length of time before you'll need the funds). This is an easy (and important) step because someone who's 28 years old won't be investing the same as someone who's 55 and nearing retirement. Based off this question, we'll say you have another 30 years before traditional retirement.

• Next, it's typically recommended to at least get a baseline understanding of your risk tolerance.

While these risk tolerance quizzes may not be entirely accurate and situations change over time, it can serve as a starting point and help you get an understanding of how much risk you feel comfortable taking.

It's also important to keep in mind that not all of your investments have to be designated for retirement. If you've maxed out your Roth IRA and other retirement accounts and you're in a good position financially, it might make sense to have a separate investment account where you set aside a little money for the purpose of investing in "risky" stocks.

That way you can keep your most important investments aligned with your risk tolerance while still being able to have a little fun with trying to pick the next Gamestop if that's something that you want to do.

The Conclusion: It's okay to take some risks in your Roth IRA while you're young because you can capitalize on potential growth since it'll be decades before you can use the money. However, I also wouldn't recommend putting everything into meme stocks or other hot stocks people are talking about because chances are, by the time those kinds of stocks become "popular", the big gains and returns are already over.

A very common way to approach Roth IRA investments is to invest in index funds. These are a type of investment that consists of many different stocks, allowing you to diversify without having to pick individual stocks and keep up with them. This style of investing makes it easier to set it and forget it, which can be an effective way to remove emotion from investing and let compound interest do its thing over time.

The goal of investing for retirement is to have enough money available that can fund your desired lifestyle when you're ready to retire - which sparks important questions that you should take some time to think about . . . Have you considered what you want your retirement to look like? Do you know how much you need to have saved/invested at that time to make it happen?

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