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When you talk about retirement to those nearing that milestone, you usually have two reactions – a satisfied smile or a look of fear. The majority will have fear in their eyes. The ones smiling are the minority in America who feel they have a nice nest egg tucked away and continually growing to meet their needs in the golden years. The others know that with their current situation, they are going to retire with very little money, if any at all. CNBC.com reports that 65 percent of all Americans save little or nothing. This problem is going to grow exponentially in future years. With people living longer than ever before, a lot of retired people are going to put a tremendous strain on the country’s resources and economy in the coming years.

Those in the position of having empty coffers in the future often would like to start putting money away but aren’t sure of the best vehicle to do so. The rate of return on most savings accounts and CDs are almost negative numbers. Outside of banks, traditional investing is usually carried out via two main vehicles: securities or real estate. You don’t see normal, everyday people pursuing mergers and acquisitions or even company takeovers. However, everyone on the planet wants a secure and honest way of having their money work for them. Over the years, the media and advertising have trimed us that picking stocks or securities is the right path.

The traditional investment vehicles typically include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, cash, and real estate. Each type of investment has its advantages and disadvantages. All but one of them require diversification. You know the standard strategy: you will lose if you don’t diversify securitized investments. Nobody wants to invest 100 percent of their savings into just one company, even if it is a great one. Almost all forms of secured investments offered through fund managers require diversification, because not all stock investments perform well at the same time. These different types of investments have opposite effects depending on world events, and changes in market rates and other economic factors can greatly impact them. Without diversification, an investor prevents his or her money from sustaining the highest average return on investment.

Investing in real estate is a little different. There is natural diversification in each property. For example, a single property is not affected by any single condition, environment, or factor. When owning a large apartment complex, losing one or two tenants won’t make or break an investor. Having numerous filled apartments offers a natural diversification needed to remain protected. Short of some serious act of God or catastrophic situation, the natural diversification inherent in owning property protects the investor. Unlike stocks, it is not necessary to buy more real estate to diversify a portfolio. While it might make sense to buy some commercial and residential real estate and pick different areas of town, that additional diversification can come with more advanced property acquisitions in the future.

Real estate is the oldest investment known to man. As far back as the heyday of the Greek empire, philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato debated the advantages and shortcomings of being a landowner. Looking at the next 2500 years or so, the desire to own land drove history, both as a source of power, but for our purposes, as a source of wealth. The concept of owning land should still be a cornerstone of any investment strategy.

An investor should feel excited about unlocking an entirely new opportunity to invest and save. By considering the steps to address traditional investing and consider real estate, you can become one of the retirement winners when you are ready to stop working. The bottom-line problem is that most people retire with inadequate money to live the way they desire. It leaves so many families stepping back after numerous years of hard work when they should be stepping up into a better lifestyle when they retire.

This is the first of a series of articles based on my book, Modern Wealth Building Formula – How to Master Real Estate Investing. I have a passion for helping others secure their future. As the professionals say, “The best time to start is now!” Please follow me as I continue to give you insight and strategies for achieving your retirement dreams. We can do this together!