What do you think of when you imagine yourself retired?
- 60 years old, throwing a ball to your dog on the beach?
- Cruises to Europe?
- Day-trips with grandchildren?
- Improving your golf game?
- Taking classes at the local college?
The traditional retirement ideas of absolute unworried leisure may no longer reflect the
uncomfortable reality faced by many retirees. We now live longer with greater expenses and – in
many cases – have fewer assets.
Retirement dreams – vacations, family and favorite activities - are still possible. But, careful
retirement planning and compromise will enable you to avoid nightmares and enjoy your "golden years."
Rules for Retirement: Guarantee Adequate Retirement Income
Perhaps the single most important retirement planning rule to keep in mind is to guarantee adequate retirement income to cover your baseline expenses
for as long as you might live. Guaranteed income is
income that will not go away.
Annuitized Reverse Mortgages,
and Pensions are all examples of guaranteed income.
Rules for Retirement: Protect Your Other Assets
It is also important to have additional retirement assets. And, those retirement assets –
as well as your guaranteed income – should be adequately protected from inflation, stock
market fluctuations, an unforeseen medical crisis or other emergency.
The problems you may face: debt, an over-stretched pension, rising health care costs and unforeseen circumstances may seem insurmountable.
Rules for Retirement: Use All of Your Resources
Too many retirees think that planning for retirement means saving and investing. However, the really big questions are:
- When will you retire?
- Will you keep working after retirement?
- When do you start Social Security?
- Do you own your home and will you use your equity to fund retirement?
- How much do you want to spend when you are retired?
- How much do you need to spend when you are retired?
For more information on how well prepared you are for retirement, visit the NewRetirement
The Retirement Calculator
will show you how long your money will last in retirement, compare your finances to averages
in your zip code and suggest ways to improve your retirement situation.