There's a host of financial tools and investments that could help you meet your personal goals, whether they involve retiring early, passing wealth onto your heirs, or simply enjoying life to the fullest. Here are four specific products that are loaded with benefits.
1. Roth IRAs
Avoiding RMDs gives you more flexibility with your retirement savings later in life. You can leave your money invested as you see fit and pass some of your savings down to loved ones if that's a route you want to take. Plus, saving in a Roth IRA can make for a less stressful retirement, since you won't have to worry about the IRS snagging a chunk of your income.
The beauty of health savings accounts is that they're triple tax-advantaged. Contributions go in tax-free, investment gains are tax-free, and withdrawals are tax-free when used to pay for qualified healthcare expenses.
HSAs are also extremely flexible in that they effectively convert to a standard retirement savings plan once you reach the age of 65. At that point, non-medical withdrawals will be subject to taxes, but that's no different than the taxes you'll pay for removing funds from a traditional IRA or 401(k) plan (though chances are, your medical bills in retirement will be substantial enough for you to use those funds for healthcare purposes).
3. Index funds
Index funds are a great way to diversify your portfolio without having to do the legwork involved in researching individual stocks. Rather, you get to own a bunch of different stocks with a single investment.
It pays to load up on broad market index funds if you're new to investing and want to assemble a quality portfolio without putting in a ton of effort (or questioning whether you're buying the right stocks or not). Though index funds won't let you beat the market -- you'll need to hand-pick your own mix of stocks to do that -- you might manage to match the performance of the general market, which could still mean doing quite well for yourself.
4. Dividend stocks
Any time you buy a stock, its value has the potential to grow over time. But if you buy dividend stocks, you have a second opportunity to make money -- by collecting your dividend payments and reinvesting them.
There are numerous companies that pay dividends, but some companies have been known to steadily raise their dividends over time. These are known as Dividend Aristocrats, and that list consists of long-standing companies that may be a suitable fit for your portfolio.
If you love the idea of getting paid dividends, you can also look at buying REITs, or real estate investment trusts. REITs often pay higher-than-average dividends and, like index funds, can lend to diversity in your portfolio.
It's easy to see why so many investors love these financial products. Take a look and see how they can work to your benefit, too.