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Retirement Resolutions For 2014

Will you be retiring this year? Are you hoping to retire, but are not quite certain whether your lifestyle can support the loss of the income you currently earn? There are ways to plan for the future, even if you’re closing in on retirement age.

Financial planners offer this advice to individuals that are nearing retirement age.

  • Have you even thought about your retirement as something other than, “I don’t have to go work every day?” If not, there truly is no time to delay. If you’re 50-years-old and haven’t thought about what you will do, the time is now. Take time to consider your income and expenses now and compare them to what you think they will be once you retire. It’s more than likely your income will decrease and when that happens how will you continue to cover your current expenses?
  • Regardless of your age, it’s never too late to start saving for retirement, by setting money aside in a savings account that will pay you dividends or in an IRA. Talk to your CPA to uncover what the limits are that you can put into an IRA or other retirement vehicle.
  • Have you given any thought to how you will mentally transition into retirement? It is a difficult time for many people as they find they have “lost their purpose” as it relates to having a career and now, “being retired.” Make plans for what you will do to fill your days once they are not taken up by commuting and working full time. Are there things you always wanted to do but never had time for? Is there an organization for which you can volunteer? Have you always wanted to travel? Set some retirement goals for yourself.
  • You love your children and grandchildren, but don’t let them throw a monkey wrench into your retirement planning. You may be tempted to help pay for a grandchild’s college or offer a large down payment to a son or daughter who is buying a home. Every time you dip into your retirement account you impact your financial stability.
  • Can you pay off your debt before you retire? The fewer credit cards or car payments or mortgage bills you have to worry about in retirement the better off you will be financially and emotionally. Not having to worry about how you will pay credit card bills versus utility bills can take its toll on your emotional stability.
  • Don’t underestimate how long you will live into your retirement. When individuals meet with financial planners they don’t always consider the possibility that because of the advances in modern medicine, there is a very real possibility that they could live to be 100 years old.
  • Speaking of aging, what plans do you implement to age in place? Will you be able to stay in your family home? Is it set up for a senior? Adding a home medical alert system can certainly add to the safety and security and allow you to age in place. There are other measures such as moving to a smaller home, only using one story rather than having to go up and down stairs, age-proofing the bathroom and other rooms in the house. Talk with your children and tell them of your desire to stay in the home and see what can be done to make that a reality.

Retirement and enjoying your golden years is something that is in the back of your minds as we age and as our careers are winding down, but just as you planned for the purchase of your first home or having children, so too must you plan for your retirement.

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