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Washington Post: 5 Things to Do Now to Get Ready for Retirement

Washington Post: 5 Things to Do Now to Get Ready for Retirement

(Dollar Photo Club)

By    |   Friday, 23 September 2016 01:43 PM


As the cliché goes, it’s never too late. And that bodes especially true for planning the golden years of life and an enjoyable retirement.

One-third of Americans between ages 55 and 65 have saved nothing for retirement, according to the National Institute on Retirement Security.

“The good news is that if you act now, you can do some catching up. The worst thing to do is sit back and do nothing,” the Washington Post’s Rodney Brooks explained.

“The most important thing is to have a team in place — your financial professional, your tax professional and your legal professional,” Mike Lynch, vice president at Hartford Funds, told the Post. “Start building that team five to 10 years out. Before you take that first step, consult your team.”

Brooks also offered a handful of other tips:

1] Figure out where you are on the road to retirement.

“The first thing is you need to know, am I ahead of the game or behind?” Tim McGrath, of Riverpoint Wealth Management in Chicago, told the Post. “What do I need to save? You are in the 7th or 8th inning of a ballgame, and this is your last opportunity to cut expenses and save where you can, because this is it.”

2] Plan your budget for what your retirement looks like.

“Paint a retirement picture five to 10 years in advance,” said Michael Miroballi of BMO Harris Financial Advisors. ““Think about the qualitative things. Do I want to do volunteer work? Do I want to retire? I may retire from my job but not retire from work. That lets you know what you want to save for, and the contingencies you want to save for.”

3] Visit your HR department now.

“Many individuals never, ever go and have a conversation with their benefits department,” said Aaron Smith, of AW Smith Financial in Glen Allen, Va. “I’m talking mostly about individuals who work for a corporation. They don’t talk about what their benefits will provide for them when they retire. If they have a pension, how is that going to be implemented?”

There’s a lot to get done (and answered) in the 30 days before you leave your company. Make sure you find out the answers now, when you are not under that kind of pressure.

4] Think about how you will spend your day.

“The focus is so much on crossing that finish line, they don’t think about what’s across the finish line,” said Ken Moraif, radio host and senior adviser at Money Matters. “It’s kind of like a marathoner who gets to the finish line and collapses. They just want to cross that line. Then they are faced with: What do I do now? They have time on their hands. It can lead to unhappiness.”

5] Do you want to have a mortgage in retirement?

“We are brought up to believe that mortgages are a great thing and we should always have them because there is a tax deduction,” said Megan Gorman, managing partner of Chequers Financial Management in San Francisco. “As you approach retirement, sit down with your CPA and ask how much of an impact on my tax bill does the deduction have. You may be surprised by how little impact it actually has. As a result, you may want to pay it down. At the end of the day, debt is still debt.”

Meanwhile, yet another recent survey of retirement confidence confirms that many workers lack realistic plans for making ends meet in retirement. It also suggests there is a disconnect between Americans' confidence about retirement and their actual preparations to ensure a comfortable one.

The Retirement Confidence Survey published by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) is the longest-running annual survey of retirement confidence among both workers and today’s retirees — this is the 26th annual edition. It provides a long view of how we are doing as a country in preparing for retirement, and this year’s survey does contain some encouraging news.

EBRI found that the percentage of workers who are confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement has continued to recover from the record lows following the Great Recession, Reuters reported. Twenty-one percent are very confident this year, compared with 13 percent in 2013. Those who are somewhat confident rose to 42 percent, up from 38 percent in 2013.

So that means 63 percent of those surveyed have some degree of confidence. But here is the problem — many people are just guessing. Only 48 percent of workers say that they or their spouse have ever tried to calculate how much they will to have save to live comfortably in retirement.  
(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report).

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As the cliché goes, it's never too late. And that bodes especially true for planning the golden years of life and an enjoyable retirement.
retirement, prepare, things, do now
Friday, 23 September 2016 01:43 PM
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