Tags: Coughlin | retirement | clean | documents

MIT's Coughlin: Retirement Represents Opportunity to Dump 'Stuff'

By    |   Monday, 20 April 2015 08:00 AM

Now that spring is here, it's a great time for retirees and those approaching retirement to get rid of extraneous possessions, says Joseph Coughlin, director of MIT's AgeLab.

"Spring-cleaning is an opportunity to sort that stuff — making the option of downsizing possible, aging-in-place easier or simply helping family members make sense out of all that stuff you have accumulated for decades," he writes on MarketWatch.

"The more you have, the more there is to maintain, clean and organize. A house full of furniture that was once the home of a family of five, but now only has two, makes the decision to downsize difficult. . . . A new ritual of retirement, may be the adoption of minimalism."

Then there is the stuff you'll want to organize rather than jettison. That includes "documents that you and your family need access to for managing legal, financial and health matters that will become more critical as you age," Coughlin says.

These include real estate documents, financial documents, wills, health documents, insurance policies, etc.

Meanwhile, you've undoubtedly seen many of the studies showing that we aren't financially prepared for retirement.

If you're in your mid-50s to early 60s, you should have six to nine times your salary in your retirement accounts to maintain your present standard of living, says Walter Updegrave, editor of RealDealRetirement.com.

So what can you do if you're falling short of that?
  • "Ramp up your savings rate," he says. "Many people look for an investing solution to bail them out," such as a hot stock. "But that can backfire, leaving you worse off." A better strategy: "maintain a moderate investing stance — keeping, say, 40 to 60 percent of your savings in stocks — and focus on finding ways to save as much as you can."
  • "Put in a few extra years on the job." That allows you to save more money for retirement, and it allows you to continue your current standard of living without drawing down your retirement assets. It also allows you to delay receiving Social Security benefits, which increases your ultimate payout.

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Now that spring is here, it's a great time for retirees and those approaching retirement to get rid of extraneous possessions, says Joseph Coughlin, director of MIT's AgeLab.
Coughlin, retirement, clean, documents
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2015-00-20
Monday, 20 April 2015 08:00 AM
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