Spending

Social Security Do-Overs

Social Security benefits constitute a big part of many retirement plans. Advice abounds about how and when you need to file. What if you goof?

Generally, you can file for your Social Security retirement benefits when you reach age 62. Most financial advisors recommend you delay filing to better maximize your lifetime benefits.

Let’s say that’s the advice you followed when you first filed. After all, you paid into the system for your entire working life and you deserve to get the money back out, right? Plus, who knows when Social Security will go bankrupt?

10 Key Pre-Retirement Steps

Retirement takes a lot of planning and decades of preparation. You’ve gathered assets, set up a home and perhaps raised children. Now is the time to enjoy all you have achieved. But as you move from the world of work into retirement, here are 10 key steps to take first.

They are:

1. Prepare a budget that takes into consideration typical monthly costs and your plan for big potential expenses (e.g., travel, home renovations, moving).

You’re a Millionaire? Big Deal

For many, millionaire status is a pipe dream. But to be reasonably comfortable in your golden years, a million dollars is only the threshold.

Celebrated in song, literature, movie plots and motivational seminars, becoming a millionaire status was a sign of financial independence. In the past, perhaps. Today, not so much.

Social Security: When to Start

Your Social Security can be worth more in golden years’ income than your 401(k) or individual retirement account. The trick: Know at what age to best file for benefits.

Retire Early? 14 Snags (Pt. 2)

Retiring before age 65 remains the dream of many Americans. Our first article looked at your personal obstacles to early retirement, such as how you save. Here are more potential roadblocks to starting your golden years ahead of time.

Why Retiring Is Tougher Now

Today’s retirement may look nothing like your parents’ or grandparents’. People live longer, benefits grow thinner, and health-care costs rise. Review your financial situation and start planning early so that this new retirement doesn’t catch you unprepared.

Retire Early? 14 Snags (Pt. 1)

Who doesn’t want to retire early? Unfortunately, if you’re like many people you won’t be able to. Here is the first of two articles looking at 14 reasons that early retirement might elude you.

Some of the reasons involve how you handle money, but others focus on your mindset and expectations or on factors beyond your control.

Wise Retirement Withdrawals

Saving for retirement is one thing, spending those savings wisely another. One school of thought says you must withdraw consistently from your savings to simply avoid exhausting cash before you die. Another believes in adjusting withdrawals depending on changes in your later years. Which is right for you?

Best Retiree Cities, Financially

You’ve probably seen dozens of lists of places to retire in, but they seldom focus on financial factors, which are important when you live off your savings.

Due to warm weather, beaches and the absence of a state income tax, locations in Florida are heavily over-represented on most such lists – I even included one here. But I took the liberty of assuming that not everyone wants to live out their golden years in the Sunshine State, and broadened the list to cover the country.

Enough Money to Retire?

You don’t want to run out of money before you run out of life.  How much money do you need?

Great question. Here are others you want to answer along the way to saving for retirement:

How long will I live? Probably the hardest question in all of life – you have to think about your mortality and foresee advances in medical science. A life insurance company might tell you that at 65 you can expect to live about 20 more years. If you’re in good health that number is higher.

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