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Strategy of Retirement Planning

The #1 Mistake People Make With Their Retirement Benefits

The #1 Mistake People Make With Their Retirement Benefits

The world of retirement benefits is complex terrain, peppered with minefields like fine print, tricky terminology, little-known exceptions and seemingly random rules. And what you don't know can (and will) come back to bite you. By Paula Pant   You've been planning your retirement for decades. Your last day of work is just a few months or years away, and you're ready to sit back and enjoy whatever it is retirement means to you – traveling, catching up on favorite pastimes with loved...more

Four Ways Healthcare Costs Can Derail Your Retirement

Four Ways Healthcare Costs Can Derail Your Retirement

High healthcare costs can derail even the best-laid retirement plans. If you haven't factored this in to your retirement planning, it's time to act right away. By Paula Pant   You probably think you have a good handle on your retirement expenses.   You understand your current spending patterns. You can reasonably estimate how much money you'll need for groceries, gasoline, vacations, utilities and other regular bills. If you still have a mortgage, you know exactly when it will be...more

5 Retirement Planning Steps Most People Overlook

5 Retirement Planning Steps Most People Overlook

Your retirement date is rapidly approaching. You’re in good financial health and you feel well-positioned for a secure retirement. But you’re still worried you might be overlooking something.   You’ve heard a lot of information about retirement planning basics: Contribute regularly to tax-advantaged accounts like your 401(k) or IRA, choose the right mix of assets for your age and risk tolerance, and rebalance regularly. You’ve followed this advice for...more

New Statistics Show What Retirement is Really Like

New Statistics Show What Retirement is Really Like

We're all concerned about retirement, and you may even spend a lot of time thinking about what your retirement might look like. But even if you're setting money aside, do you know what you're preparing for? By Anna B. Wroblewska.   We're all concerned about retirement, and you may even spend a lot of time thinking about what your retirement might look like. But even if you're setting money aside, do you know what you're preparing for? What does...more

Five Ways to Start the New Year on the Right Foot

Five Ways to Start the New Year on the Right Foot

The New Year is a good time to take stock of your portfolio. Here are some tips on what to look at, and set yourself up for a good time down the road. By Anna B. Wroblewska   The New Year is just around the corner, which makes it the perfect time to do a bit of portfolio housekeeping. By investing a little bit of time now, you can enhance your tax situation, save some money, and set yourself up for a smoother ride down the road. Break out the eggnog or hot chocolate and take these five...more

8 Financial Moves to Make for the New Year

8 Financial Moves to Make for the New Year

The New Year's Eve is usually synonymous with holidays and partying. But it also signifies some important financial deadlines. Spend a little time to check if you're on track. By Paula Pant.   New Year's Eve is coming up. You might be thinking about champagne and party hats, but before you head to the party, don't forget that you need to make a few smart end-of-year financial moves.   For better or worse, New Year's Eve signifies plenty of important financial deadlines that you...more

The Markets are a Mess -- So Can I Retire?

The Markets are a Mess -- So Can I Retire?

What happens in the first decade of retirement can predict upto 80% of your retirement income plan outcomes.How to optimise especially for market downturns. By Anna B. Wroblewska.   You've researched Medicare, thought about your Social Security plan, and packed the RV. But you might be reading the news and looking at your retirement portfolio with a great deal of uncertainty. How do you know if your assets can weather the current -- and any future -- downturns and storms? Can you really...more

Should You Save for Retirement or Pay for College?

Should You Save for Retirement or Pay for College?

Your kids are about to go to college. Your retirement's round the corner too. If you don't have enough time and money to reach your ideal financial goals for both college and retirement, one goal will need to take priority. By Paula Pant.   When you hold your first child for the first time, 18 years sounds like a long time. You assume you'll be able to save for college in that length of time. After all, it's almost two decades away, right?   Not really. Life's other expenses catch up...more

The Unseen Risk for High-Net Worth Investors: Inflation

The Unseen Risk for High-Net Worth Investors: Inflation

Having a high net worth does not necessarily mean you can relax. While you may enjoy the finer things in life, these finer things are becoming costlier over time. Here's what you need to know and how to plan accordingly. The Unseen Risk for High-Net Worth Investors: Inflation   By Anna B. Wroblewska.   Investing isn't without its worries for high net worth investors. While having a strong asset base is a great thing, managing it can come with a whole new set of stresses --...more

Five Retirement Expenses That May Catch You By Surprise

Five Retirement Expenses That May Catch You By Surprise

You may think that your retirement expenses may be lower than your current cost of living, but the fact of the matter is that you will be adding new expenses to your plate. While you may not have considered them now, many will be necessities rather than discretionary. This article explains some of the major expense heads. By Paula Pant.   You might assume that your retirement expenses will be lower than your current cost-of-living. But - we're sorry to say - that idea might not be...more

How to Play

How to Play "Retirement Catch-Up" If You Had a Late Start

Better late than never. Some important guidelines to help you start working towards your ideal retirement corpus. By Paula Pant.   You've celebrated your 40th birthday (or better).   Now that you're older and wiser, you decide to start learning about retirement planning. You assume you still have plenty of time. After all, retirement is more than a decade away.   You start reading about retirement planning – and your stomach churns....more

Women Face Unique Retirement Challenges

Women Face Unique Retirement Challenges

Saving for retirement remains one of the most important financial goals for both men and women. While saving for retirement is a huge endeavor for everyone, women face a variety of unique challenges and obstacles that should be taken into account in their long-term planning. First of all, and perhaps most importantly, women, on average, live longer then men. Therefore, they will simply need more money during retirement then men. According to a July 2005 report on www.msn.com, women at age...more

Is early retirement the right choice?

Is early retirement the right choice?

There is nothing like retiring early and enjoying the fruits of your labor. However, retirement plans can be quite complex and you need to understand both the pros and cons of starting your post-work life early. Drawbacks of early retirement can involve boredom from not working and relying on your savings more than you expected. Of course, there are benefits like having more time for doing fun activities like traveling and enjoying time with family and friends. By exploring all of the...more

How Preparing for Retirement is Different for Women and What We Can Do About It

How Preparing for Retirement is Different for Women and What We Can Do About It

Most women in America will be disproportionately impacted by America's retirement process, and not in a good way. Women face unique challenges when it comes to retirement, including: Women face the reality of longer lives with fewer financial resources to fall back on. According to Debra Whitman, Executive Vice President of Policy, Strategy & International Affairs at AARP, women out-live men by an average of three years. This certainly requires a different outlook and plan than men. The pay...more

How to Avoid Costly Retirement Regrets

How to Avoid Costly Retirement Regrets

New retirees often worry about how to sustainably afford retirement, and many wish they could have a retirement planning do-over. The good thing is that it's never too late to revise your financial plans and avoid common mistakes. Through investing in safer assets, keeping your accounts in check, minimizing borrowing from your retirement money pot, and having a cohesive workforce of financial advisors, you can make the most of your hard-earned savings and enjoy your retirement to the...more

Why Retirement is Over-Rated

Why Retirement is Over-Rated

By Paula Pant. "How much money do I need to retire?" "How much should I be saving per year toward my retirement?" "Should I save for my kids' education first, or my retirement?" If you're on a quest for financial stability, chances are you've asked yourself questions like these (and many more). Of all the juggling balls we try to keep in the air, retirement often seems the biggest. But focusing too much on your retirement could lead you in the wrong direction. Consider these four big...more

The Late Planner's Guide to Retirement Catch-Up

The Late Planner's Guide to Retirement Catch-Up

James O'Brien We tend to think that every smart and successful retiree began his or her savings plan early on, dutifully funneling an annual percentage of their income into a 401(k), starting with their first job. And when those of us who don't fit that bill reach the age of 50 and realize we've saved very little by comparison, we may panic. We'll outlive our money. Disaster and poverty will ensue. The truth is, however, that late-start retirement savers can begin at 50 and still make a fine...more

How Do Freelancers Retire? Savings Plans for Independent Professionals

How Do Freelancers Retire? Savings Plans for Independent Professionals

By James O'Brien. When we talk about retirement planning, we're often basing our conversation on the presumption of traditional employment, which comes with certain assumptions -- benefits, employer contributions, the whole works. However, retirement planning is a much different proposition for freelancers. For all the freedom that might come with being one's own boss, there's a downside to sailing solo in the workforce. You have to handle all the rigging by yourself. You have to navigate,...more

A Retirement Gender Gap? Why It Exists and How to Start Closing It

A Retirement Gender Gap? Why It Exists and How to Start Closing It

By James O'Brien. There's good news and bad news about how and what women save for retirement. The good news is that a majority of women tend to save more than men -- some 7% of their earnings, on average, according to an ADP Research Institute report, whereas a majority of men saved an average of 6.4%. The bad news is that while women appear to be saving more, they're ending up with less money in retirement than their male counterparts. How can this be the case? A series of factors that...more

8 Tips to Help You Plan for Retirement if You're Starting Late

8 Tips to Help You Plan for Retirement if You're Starting Late

By Paula Pant. So you recently decided to become serious about retirement planning. You bought a few books, read a few online articles, and found yourself growing disheartened. You discovered that you should have begun this task 10 or 20 years ago. Almost every piece of financial advice emphasizes one point: Begin saving for retirement as early in your life as possible. The younger you are, the more traction your portfolio will gain. That's great advice for young readers, but your 20s (and...more

Pros and Cons of Early Retirement: Realities and Strategies

Pros and Cons of Early Retirement: Realities and Strategies

SUMMARY: Early retirement might sound like a way to win extra time in one's personal life, but the financial realities can be challenging. We look at the facts surrounding retiring early, and at some strategies to live better on post-career resources.   If retirement is already a complicated step to take in life, then leaving your working days behind before you're in your 60s is even more complex. Some choose it proactively, with all the money in place to live well outside of a career -...more

Circle These  Retirement-Planning Deadlines on Your Calendar

Circle These Retirement-Planning Deadlines on Your Calendar

Circle These Retirement-Planning Deadlines on Your Calendar By Paula Pant Who doesnt love the idea of retiring on a tropical beach, near a beautiful mountain vista, or in a wooded forest?   Retirement may be the dream, but in order to turn this dream into reality, you must keep a few deadlines in mind every year. Here are a few important dates for you to keep on your retirement planning calendar. January 30. If youre a sole proprietor and youre eligible to make...more

Why Plan Now For Retirement?

Why Plan Now For Retirement?

Start Retirement Planning Now Financial advisors, financial journalists and other professionals are all telling us it's never too early to start planning for your retirement, but lots of them are leaving out some of the gory details that are truly frightening.      Reporting from the last few years indicates that most Americans are not putting enough away for retirement; this March 2013 Forbes article puts estimates of the average retiring worker's 401k as low as a dire...more

Time for a Financial Tune Up?

Time for a Financial Tune Up?

In the front window of the bike store near my home there's a big sign that reads, "FREE LIFETIME TUNE UPS!" When you buy a bicycle, as I did recently for my daughter Jenny, you can bring it back anytime for a free tune up. Having a tune up at least once a year is a great way to keep your bicycle in top working condition. A few weeks ago, I brought my wife's and my own bicycle in for a tune up. Unlike our daughter's brand new bike, ours were covered with dust and cobwebs. The handles...more

Retirement Planning: Don't Let Outdated Retirement Statistics Leave You Underfunded and Unprepared

Retirement Planning: Don't Let Outdated Retirement Statistics Leave You Underfunded and Unprepared

Forbes Magazine ran a cover story entitled "Retirement: Why You Won't Need As Much As You Think". In the article, economist Laurence Kotlikoff stated that most financial planning calculators and software programs overestimate how much money you should plan on spending in retirement. And not surprisingly, he has developed a software program called ESPlanner that he claims will do a better job of determining how much money you?ll need in retirement and how much insurance you?ll need to protect...more

Retirement Management: Planning To Turn Present Dreams into Future Realities

Retirement Management: Planning To Turn Present Dreams into Future Realities

Retirement can be one of the most active times in an individual's life. However, it can also be one of the most expensive. Attributed largely to lack of planning, many retirees are finding themselves in their golden years without enough retirement resources to maintain a decent standard of living. For these individuals, doing the things they?ve always dreamed of - starting a new career or hobby, traveling, buying a second home, spending time with friends and family, volunteering in the...more

Retirement Planning: Understanding Your Withdrawal Alternatives

Retirement Planning: Understanding Your Withdrawal Alternatives

More than 20 million Americans currently participate in 401(k) plans through their employers with an average account balance around $30,000. These pension plans can help to provide security for a comfortable retirement. It's important to understand, however, the tax implications of these pension plans when you decide to change employers or perhaps are a victim of corporate downsizing. If you?re a plan participant, there are several alternatives available to you: You may leave all or some...more

Planning for Early Retirement

Planning for Early Retirement

Some people retire by choice. Others do so involuntarily because of corporate restructuring that has drastically cut the ranks of middle management. Even if a person does not intend to retire early, or is only in their twenties, planning for retirement should begin now. The sooner it is initiated, the easier it will be, regardless of whom decides when it is time to retire. Pretend someone you know has just retired. Consider how he or she will live the rest of their life. Where and how...more

Evaluating Early Retirement Offers

Evaluating Early Retirement Offers

Company-sponsored early retirement programs can be very attractive. These early retirement programs can offer the chance to make a career change, to spend more time as a volunteer in the community, to go back to school, or to spend more time with the family. Before deciding to accept early retirement, however, think about the rest of one's life and then decide if early retirement is the best option. This will assist in systematically analyzing the available options. Reasons for the...more

Major Retirement Planning Blunders

Major Retirement Planning Blunders

Exposing more than 10% of any portfolio in one holding or stock, be especially diligent to limit your portfolio exposure in company stock. Why is it essential for you today and in the future to financially support your employer? Failure to regularly diversify all your investment holdings including real estate, stocks, mutual funds, etc. Just because they did well in the past does not mean they are still a good performer today. Failure to evaluate every investment holding regularly and...more

Five Common Retirement Planning Mistakes

Five Common Retirement Planning Mistakes

Saving for retirement is among the most important investment objectives, regardless of your age or stage in life. But simply resolving to put money away for the future may not be enough to ensure the comfort and security you ultimately desire. Responsible, educated investment decisions are key. The following mistakes are often made by investors attempting to plan for retirement. Understanding how to avoid these mistakes can help you achieve the retirement of your dreams. Ignoring...more

Seven Things NOT to Assume About Retirement Planning

Seven Things NOT to Assume About Retirement Planning

You?ll retire at age 65 and live to age 80. Forced early retirement is a trend that won't go away soon. Aim to retire at age 65, but calculate that you might have to retire at 58 and calculate that you?ll need enough income in retirement to last you until at least age 90. Also, be mindful of the fact that one of Americans? worst fears is that they will outlive their resources. It's far better to have too much than too little. You have to preserve principal. Sure, it's a time-honored adage...more

The Word

The Word "Retirement"

The word ?retirement? brings great worry to many Baby Boomers. They often worry if they will be able to retire and if they can retire, how much money will they need to have in savings and investments. Let's discuss how much a person needs to invest on a monthly basis in order to feel financial freedom in their retirement years. Let me first say, it is never convenient to invest. There will always be something that you can spend your money on. Money is easy to spend and there is never...more

How Much Will You Need to Retire?

How Much Will You Need to Retire?

How much money will it take for you to retire in style? Will $1 million do the trick? How about $5 million? Or perhaps you can get by on less. If the question leaves you scratching your head, you?re not alone. Fewer than half of American workers have estimated how much they?ll need to retire, according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute. The biggest risk retirees may face is running out of money while they?re alive. It's an all-too-possible scenario, even if you have substantial...more

Budgeting to Retire

Budgeting to Retire

The old adage ?out of sight, out of mind? is never truer than when it comes to budgeting for retirement. Starting young is the best strategy. But typically, nothing is further from a young person's mind, especially when they?re just starting a new career or forming a family. That's probably the biggest mistake most people make when it comes to retirement planning, experts say. While it's hard to give much thought to something that's 20 to 40 years away, developing a budget geared toward...more

Retiring at 55: Rules of the Road

Retiring at 55: Rules of the Road

Do you want to retire before Social Security kicks in, say at age 55? Should you? Could you? The Rules of the Road Plan on living longer than the charts show. Your money has to last. Plan on medical insurance premiums and medical costs rising much faster than inflation. Plan on long-term care costs and insurance also rising much faster than inflation. Don't under-budget. Retirement is not cheap, especially if you plan to own a second home, live an active lifestyle, and/or travel. Be...more

Do Retirees Need a New Investment Strategy?

Do Retirees Need a New Investment Strategy?

First growth, then income. If you're like most investors, you want to achieve growth while you're working and income after you retire. But that doesn't necessarily make it smart to change your investment strategy when you retire by shifting your portfolio completely out of stocks into less volatile, 'income' investments like bonds and cash equivalents. The Tax Bite As a rule, stocks are more risky and volatile than other types of investments. Therefore, you might decide, as some retirees do,...more

Retirement Income Planning: Why an Appropriate Withdrawal Rate Matters

Retirement Income Planning: Why an Appropriate Withdrawal Rate Matters

Accumulating enough assets for retirement may be the top priority for investors. However, the amount that is withdrawn from a portfolio each year during retirement is what may ultimately determine how long retirement assets will last. That is why calculating the annual withdrawal rate from personal savings and investments is so critical for retirees and people about to retire. It's also a helpful exercise for younger investors who would like to gauge how much they will need to accumulate in...more

Great Expectations

Great Expectations

Today, 51 percent of Americans aged 60 to 64 remain in the workforce1. For these and other Americans, retirement doesn't mean slowing down. But from modifications in schedules, lifestyle, and income, retirement almost always brings change. Retirement is something that many people look forward to reaching, but it can have its challenges. Research shows that couples, in particular, may face difficulties when transitioning to retirement as they adjust to new roles and routines2....more

Striking a Delicate Balance

Striking a Delicate Balance

When the day comes for you to begin drawing a retirement income, will you know how much you can withdraw safely from your investment accounts? If you don't have a withdrawal plan, you may run the risk of taking too much and running out of money during your lifetime, or being too cautious and living on less income than you need to maintain your lifestyle. A systematic withdrawal program may help stretch the life of your accounts to last for a certain period or...more

Worried About the Future? You're Not Alone

Worried About the Future? You're Not Alone

According to a recent survey, even the wealthiest Americans believe they need more money to secure their future - $2.3 million, on average1. Everyone wants to feel financially secure. The question is, how do you determine what it will take to reach that point, particularly when it comes to retirement? Run the numbers The first step is to calculate how much income you will need to live comfortably and pursue your lifestyle goals. This means taking into...more

Deciding on a Withdrawal Rate

Deciding on a Withdrawal Rate

It's probably one of the most important decisions you'll make when you retire - how much to withdraw annually from your retirement assets. Take out too much every year and you may have to seriously reduce your standard of living late in life or even deplete your assets. Take out too little and you may unnecessarily reduce your standard of living so you won't enjoy your retirement. Several factors need to be considered when calculating your withdrawal rate, including your life expectancy,...more

Get a Plan for Retirement

Get a Plan for Retirement

Given much thought to retirement lately? Don't make the mistake of thinking about what you'd like to do when you retire, but not how you're going to finance that retirement. Start planning now, following these key steps: Determine how much income you'll need for retirement. First, decide how you'll spend your retirement years. Do you want to travel extensively or are you content to stay at home pursuing inexpensive hobbies? Will you remain in your current home or move to a different city? Do...more

Withdrawing Retirement Funds

Withdrawing Retirement Funds

After retirement, you're likely to find your retirement savings include several different vehicles, which might include 401(k) plans, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), profit-sharing plans, and taxable investments designated for retirement. When withdrawing funds, you need to decide the order in which to tap those accounts. Withdrawing your funds in the most tax-efficient manner can add years to their life, thus increasing your lifetime withdrawals. Typically, you'll want to consider this...more

Baby Boomers Gain Access to Retirement Accounts

Baby Boomers Gain Access to Retirement Accounts

Most people stopped celebrating half birthdays when they were children. But this year baby boomers turning 59 & have a reason to celebrate. July 1, 2005, marked the day the first baby boomers have access to their IRAs, some 401(k) plans and other retirement accounts money without incurring early withdrawal fees. Although boomers have access to this money, it should not be a time for a spending spree. They should revisit their financial goals and consider some of the potential risks they face...more

Measuring Your Nest Egg

Measuring Your Nest Egg

You may have a specific vision of your retirement & traveling the world, downsizing to a beachfront cottage or spending time with your friends and family. You might want to get back to some of your old hobbies or start new ones. Or perhaps your vision of retirement is not as specific, but is simply based on the feeling you want to achieve - you are looking forward to some peace of mind, relaxation and security. Either way, are you confident that you are putting away enough money to fund the...more

Retirees Must Protect Themselves From Inflation

Retirees Must Protect Themselves From Inflation

Consumers with a fixed income will quickly learn that even mild inflation can take them off track. While current inflation rates are nowhere near the 1970's or other times of extreme inflation, retirees today, for numerous reasons, may be even more vulnerable than their counterparts 30 years ago. First of all, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since 1970, average life expectancies for 65-year-olds have increased three years (from 80 years old to 83 years old.) ...more

Having a Happy Retirement

Having a Happy Retirement

Never Too Early. Never Too Late. There's no wrong time to plan for your retirement. Sooner is, of course, better & making it possible for a 30-year-old, who saves for retirement consistently, to be a millionaire by retirement age. But even those who don't start saving for retirement until their late 50's, can take the edge off retirement expenses by using safe, and often overlooked, strategies. As you begin to create a solid retirement plan, the monies that define your future security will...more

Early Retirement Begins with Early Retirement Planning

Early Retirement Begins with Early Retirement Planning

Everyone dreams of throwing away his or her alarm clock, saying goodbye to early morning commutes and, instead, waking up to leisurely read the paper, sip fresh coffee and pursue his or her life's ambitions as an early retiree. Yet few take the necessary steps to prepare themselves for early retirement. Although many may feel the notion is far fetched, taking charge of your future and retiring early may be easier to do now than ever before thanks in part to recent changes in tax legislation,...more

Getting To Retirement With Sufficient Income

Getting To Retirement With Sufficient Income

There are a few basic calculations you can make, regardless of your income or your age, to come up with a number you need to know. Ahh retirement. For some folks, it's time to pull up a rocking chair and enjoy a cold glass of lemonade. For others, retirement means traveling to exotic places. And for some, it means finding a job to supplement their income. What does the future hold for your retirement? Retirement plans are different for everyone, as each individual's situation is...more

Don't Make These Retirement Planning Mistakes

Don't Make These Retirement Planning Mistakes

We all recognize the importance of planning and saving for retirement, but too many of us fall victim to one or more common mistakes. Here are four easily avoidable mistakes that could prevent you from reaching your retirement goals. 1. Putting off planning and saving Because retirement may be many years away, it's easy to put off planning for it. The longer you wait, however, the harder it is to make up the difference later. That's because the sooner you start, the more time your investments...more

What It Means to Be a Baby Boomer

What It Means to Be a Baby Boomer

With the oldest baby boomers turning 60 this year, the retirement landscape is about to undergo a seismic shift. What does it mean to be a baby boomer? First, there's demographics: 26.5 million leading-edge boomers, those born between 1946 and 1952, will turn 60 over the next six years. Trailing them? Another 50.5 million younger boomers. Then there's longevity. In 1990, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 37,000 Americans were 100 or older. By 2002, the number had climbed to 74,000 and it...more

Make Your Retirement Your Priority

Make Your Retirement Your Priority

Many Americans who planned to retire within the next five to ten years are unhappy to find that their long-term savings, their nest egg, falls short of what is needed to retire when and as comfortably as planned. They are finding that their nest egg is not sufficient to secure a steady stream of income during their retirement years. And women are especially vulnerable. According to a recent GE Center for Financial Learning, most respondents underestimated the life expectancy of a...more

The Changing Retirement Landscape and How to Prepare for It

The Changing Retirement Landscape and How to Prepare for It

With a continued influx of baby boomers retiring, the retirement landscape is about to undergo a seismic shift. What does it mean to be a baby boomer? First, there's demographics: Between 2000 and 2011, the percentage of Americans over 65 years of age grew 18% - with the number of people at or above retirement age ballooning to over 41 million since the first baby boomers turned 65 in 2011, the demographics have shifted rapidly. A recent Administration on Aging report indicates this trend...more

Maximizing Your Wealth

Maximizing Your Wealth

When advising clients on a suitable rate of withdrawal from their portfolios during retirement, we face the challenge of recommending a level of withdrawal that could be less than possible, often less than desired, but within parameters intended to transcend the retirement years. As a general rule, when retiring in your early 60s, a gross portfolio withdrawal rate of 3%-4%, increasing annually by inflation, has been found to be a generally prudent strategy. Although maintaining one's...more

Short Term Retirement Planning

Short Term Retirement Planning

One way to make any event stressful is to head into it unprepared. If you're within five years of retirement, to ensure a smooth transition, take the following five steps as soon as possible. Increase cash reserves The process of applying for pensions, social security and setting up withdrawals from IRA's and 401(k) plans does not always happen without a glitch or two along the way. Be prepared for delays by having extra money tucked away in your savings, checking and money market...more

Retirement Myths

Retirement Myths

It is an unfortunate fact that many Americans spend less time planning for their retirement than planning for their vacations. All it takes is intelligent planning and a clear understanding of the myths that hinder us from building a secure retirement. Consider the following myths: Myth #1: I'm too young to worry about retirement. You're never too young to make plans. The sooner you begin saving for retirement, the less you'll have to put aside. For example, if you want to have a...more

Plan Today for Retirement Tomorrow

Plan Today for Retirement Tomorrow

Planning and saving for retirement, like cleaning out the attic, may be something you figure you'll get to later. But when "later" arrives at retirement age, you may not have the financial resources to enjoy your golden years. Long gone are the days when you could expect the traditional sources of retirement income -- Social Security and your company's pension plan -- to carry you through retirement. This is the result of several factors: inflation, longer life expectancies, company...more

Don't Wait to Plan Your Retirement

Don't Wait to Plan Your Retirement

Most of us find it easier to earn and spend money than to save it. Planning and saving for retirement too often take a back seat to other priorities. Why is procrastination the rule, rather than the exception when it comes to retirement planning? I've heard many reasons from my clients: thinking about retirement makes them uncomfortable; they're too busy to find time to plan for retirement; they're too young to worry about retirement; and retirement planning is too complicated. If you find...more

Retirement Planning: Scared or Prepared?

Retirement Planning: Scared or Prepared?

If you are planning on winning the lottery, don't bother reading this. For the rest of you, however, it is never too early to begin planning for a comfortable retirement. Given the new economic realities of retirement planning, building up a nest egg is a top priority. No longer can you rely on the government or employer-provided pensions to carry you through your retirement years. The long-term viability of the Social Security system is uncertain, given the crush of aging baby boomers who...more

Preparing for Retirement: Some

Preparing for Retirement: Some "Get It", Some Still Don't

Legislation passed in the last several years gave people saving for retirement the ability to put more money into IRA accounts and qualified retirement plans and reap significant tax benefits. Welcome news as Americans realize the serious need to take responsibility for their own retirement planning. An estimated 28 million families headed by a worker under age 65 had no retirement savings accounts in 2001 1. And, while the actual dollar amount of IRA contributions increased after the new...more

The New Face of Retirement Planning

The New Face of Retirement Planning

Retirement these days just isn't what it used to be. A generation ago, many Americans spent their golden years pursuing mostly sedentary activities like fishing or golfing. Today's retirees are redefining this phase. Retirement now means traveling the world, giving back to the community through volunteer work or starting a small business. But can these activities finance today's escalating retirement bills? Medical costs have risen faster than inflation for much of the last decade. A...more

Increasing Life Expectancies May Require Additional Retirement and Estate Planning

Increasing Life Expectancies May Require Additional Retirement and Estate Planning

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, people today can expect to live longer in retirement than ever before. Increased life expectancies mean we?ll all probably have to do a better job of planning for our retirement and protecting our estate assets than previous generations. Working out a sound retirement plan now?before you need it?may help achieve retirement and other important financial goals. Retirement Planning Creating a retirement plan can help with a comfortable retirement. In...more

Top 10 Ways to Beat the Clock and Prepare for Retirement

Top 10 Ways to Beat the Clock and Prepare for Retirement

Instead of going online, you can get any Employee Benefits Security Administration publication listed here by calling the U.S. Department of Labor at 1-866-444-3272. There is no charge. (Note that IRS Publication 590 comes from the IRS, not EBSA.) 10. Know Your Retirement Needs Retirement is expensive. Experts estimate that you?ll need about 70% of your pre-retirement income?lower earners, 90% or more'to maintain your standard of living when you stop working. Take charge of your...more

The Cat Food Dilemma

The Cat Food Dilemma

When I left the Army in 1973, it was to go to work for the Dupont Walston brokerage firm. Our training center was in Los Angeles about three blocks down Wilshire from the Ambassador Hotel when Sen. Robert Kennedy had been assassinated five years before. There were 189 in my class all but four military veterans and in addition to all the lies about heroic achievements, there was a monthly convoy to the VA Hospital in Westwood for treatment of wounds and disease. One of my classmates was a...more

How to Ensure a Worry-Free Retirement

How to Ensure a Worry-Free Retirement

By Anna Wroblewska. Financial markets are, unfortunately, totally unpredictable. While your retirement savings could be growing rapidly in one decade, they could easily fall or stagnate in the next. Added to all the other worries you might be facing as a retiree, do you really want the additional stress of wondering how much you can withdraw from your account next year -- or if you'll run out of money in the coming decades? Creating retirement peace of mind starts by taking these four...more

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