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Hi! I'm new to all of this, so maybe the answer to my question is here somewhere, but I don't yet know where. My husband and I are 47 years old, married for the second time for 5 years, and lost our assests in our former marriages. So now we are late-start investors with little time to financially prepare for retirement and we are confused as to the best investments for our situation. Any suggestions, advice, or know where I can get sound information? We are anxious about our ability to make up for lost time.
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Greetings, Cynthia43, and welcome. You wrote:

<<Hi! I'm new to all of this, so maybe the answer to my question is here somewhere, but I don't yet know where. My husband and I are 47 years old, married for the second time for 5 years, and lost our assests in our former marriages. So now we are late-start investors with little time to financially prepare for retirement and we are confused as to the best investments for our situation. Any suggestions, advice, or know where I can get sound information? We are anxious about our ability to make up for lost time. >>

While you will have your work cut out for you, it is never too late to begin investing for retirement. It's just harder. Still, unless you're planning on an early retirement (lotsa luck if you are), then you have 15+ years to let your money work for you. That's plenty of time in the market to let your money grow. Just ensure you save the maximum amount each year that you can.

I assume you're new to both Fooldom and to investing. That's great on both counts! You have wandered into a forum that believes you, as an individual, can do far better for yourself than most professional money managers. Provided, that is, you take some time to learn a few basic investment concepts and do some self-examination to see where you fit on the risk tolerance scale. Therefore, why not take some time now -- not later -- to be sure about what you want to do. Start first by reading The 13 Steps to Investing Foolishly, which you can find at http://www.fool.com/school/13steps/13steps.htm. You should also read the articles in our Investing Basics area at http://www.fool.com/school/basics/investingbasics.htm. These missives will suggest some important things you should consider. Then I suggest you toddle over to your local library, discount bookstore, or even here in the Fool Mart, and pick up some easily read, easily understood, inexpensive texts that will thoroughly explain how to invest in stocks using some simple systems that will take but an hour per year of your time (if you're slow) yet produce returns that put the majority of professional money managers to shame. I suggest and commend the following to you: "Beating the Dow" by O'Higgins; "The Dividend Investor" by Petty and Knowles; "The Motley Fool Investment Guide" and "You Have More Than You Think" by the Gardner brothers; "One Up on Wall Street" by Lynch; and "What Works on Wall Street" by O'Shaughnessey. All are well worth their low cost and the small investment in time it takes to read them. Get them and read them. You'll be glad you did.

While you're doing all that, also take some time to explore the various nooks and crannies of Fooldom to see what others are doing and what they're discussing. I also recommend you read my 13 Steps to Foolish Retirement Planning and my Foolish Retirement Plan Primer. Both may be found at http://www.fool.com/Retirement/Retirement.htm , and they will help give you some insight as to what you can do. In the process of all that reading, you'll gain a wealth of knowledge and information that will serve to clarify how you want to approach this very personal issue. Don't be afraid to ask a question anywhere in Fooldom. Folks around here are great about answering questions and clearing up misunderstandings.

Regards..Pixy
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<<My husband and I are 47 years old, married for the second time for 5 years, and lost our assests in our former marriages. So now we are late-start investors with little time to financially prepare for retirement and we are confused as to the best investments for our situation. Any suggestions, advice, or know where I can get sound information? We are anxious about our ability to make up for lost time. >>

You're where my wife and I were at that age (3 yrs ago), except we didn't have divorce eating our resources, so we had chump change already in mutual funds (we had lack of investment understanding, instead, eating at our resources).

I strongly recommend the MF's 13 Steps at http://www.fool.com/school.htm?ref=G02A06, as well as TMFPixy's several steps on the Retirement page (start at http://www.fool.com/Retirement/Retirement.htm)

I also recommend JK Lasser's Invest Online , Robert Sheard's The Unemotional Investor , the Gardners' The Motley Fool Investment Guide , and O'Shaughnessy's What Works on Wall Street and How to Retire Rich .

As to what we use specifically, I'm using BSP (http://quote.fool.com/livecalc/livecalc.asp) and Spark 5, (http://www.fool.com/Workshop/WorkshopRankings.htm), with a taste of 6/3 Options (go to the Mechanical Investing Board and do a search on that). Also, read McMillan's Options as a Strategic Investment and Bittman's Options for the Stock Investor from cover to cover before you spend a dime on options. My wife uses a series of communications and techy stocks that she developed from basic fundamental analysis.

We also max out our 401(k)s and IRAs.

We're doing all right and are on track for early retirement. You can, too, but it will take dedication, lack of emotion in the market, and hard work at education.

Hope this helps, and good luck.

Eric Hines
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