So you’ve sold your house. Congratulations! So what now?
After selling your home you’re left with a big chunk of cash, and there’s no reason to let that cash sit around doing nothing for you. So what should you use the money for? Obviously, you can use some of it as a down payment on a new home. But there are other options, that can offer significant returns if you play your cards right.
5 - IRAs
No, not your uncle Ira. Even if you already have some money put away for retirement, an IRA or a Roth IRA can be a good place to park some cash to make sure it earns you a return. You could even invest on top of your traditional 401k, but you might not reap the same benefits as you would if only investing in one or the other. It might be a good thing to look into, especially if you’re looking to diversify your retirement portfolio. The worst case scenario is that you’ll have the money working for you after selling your home, rather than stuffing a mattress.
4 - 529 College Savings Plan
If you have a family, it could be well worth your while to invest in a 529 college savings plan. A 529 plan is designed specifically for higher education, and are similar to a retirement plan. Growth depends on markets and funds are contributed through mutual funds. If you already have a college savings account, a 529 plan can be a great supplement and could be the perfect place for the money made from selling your home. They can be an excellent option for families looking to the future and are available in most states.
3 - Pay Down Debt
This kind of goes without saying, but if you still have debt after selling your home, now would be a perfect time to get it taken care of. Use a financial calculator online to see how much you spend on interest each year. Then find out how quickly you can pay it off with a large influx of cash. Chances are, you’ll end up saving a bundle. This could save you more than you’d make in interest, so you could almost see it as a sort of investment. Plus wouldn’t it be great to see a zero balance on those credit card statements?
2 - Investment Properties
It might be a little riskier, especially in a less populated area, but if you have the extra cash from selling your home, think about investing in some rental properties. It might take some work and a little elbow grease on the weekend, but done right, these can give you an extra income to put towards retirement or towards the kid's college funds. If it seems like too big of a project, partner up with a friend and split the profits.
1 - Money Market Account
A money market account is a classic option. Why waste extra money from selling your home by letting it sit in a standard savings account? Open a money market account for a better return that’s safer than investing directly into the market. With a money market account, your investment is spread out over several stocks, reaping the benefits but covering you if there’s a dip. You can think about this as a savings account but more long term.
No matter what you end up doing with the extra cash from selling your home, be safe. Don’t let it slip away because you decided to get new furniture. Large sums of money don’t come around every day, so make it work for you. You’ll be happier in a few years when you see the returns on your investment.
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