Retirement


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Today, I have some advice for those of you heading into retirement or already into retirement and have realized that, for whatever reason, whether it was an unforeseen or medical expense or just a lack of excess income after all the expenses of taking care of your family or whether you just didn’t pay attention to saving until it was too late.

My theme for you continues to be “Yes, you can retire and live twice the life at half the cost”. You just have to be smart about it”.

Now here’s my advice… if, after adding up all you’ve saved for retirement, you find that your income won’t be enough to support you, start to actively look for ways to trim your expenses. This way you can keep more of the income you are set to receive, enabling you to live the life you’ve always dreamed of but could not afford.

Today, I want to share some of my favorite suggestions and add a few I picked up from an article titled 7 Realistic Strategies for Retirement by Tom Sightings, for U.S. News & World Report.

First, remember there are only two ways to get to your destination. Using a boating metaphor, you either raise the bridge or lower the water. Raising the bridge means earning more income. Lowering the water means cutting your expenses. Only you know which choice is the most feasible for you but today I am going to talk about ideas which “lower the water”.

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In the United States an annuity contract is created when an insured party, usually an individual, pays a life insurance company a single premium that will later be distributed back to the insured party over time. Annuity contracts traditionally provide a guaranteed distribution of income over time, until the death of the person or persons named in the contract or until a final date, whichever comes first. However, the majority of modern annuity customers use annuities only to accumulate funds free of income and capital gains taxes and to later take lump-sum withdrawals without using the guaranteed-income-for-life feature.

Annuity contracts in the United States are defined by the Internal Revenue Code and regulated by the individual states. Variable annuities have features of both life insurance and investment products. In the U.S., annuity insurance may be issued only by life insurance companies, although private annuity contracts may be arranged between donors to non-profits to reduce taxes. Insurance companies are regulated by the states, so contracts or options that may be available in some states may not be available in others. Their federal tax treatment, however, is governed by the Internal Revenue Code. Variable annuities are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the sale of variable annuities is overseen by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) (the largest non-governmental regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States).
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How much money should I withdraw annually from my portfolio when I retire?

I get that question a lot from friends and family. (Occupational hazard.) It’s also one of the most hotly debated issues in financial planning. Why? First, it’s important; we all hope to live happily in retirement. Second, every person’s situation is unique, so there’s no standard set of spending assumptions for retirement planning. Third, market returns may be mean-reverting over long time periods, but a person’s retirement happens over a specific time period, parts of which may deviate significantly from longer-term average returns that are used to forecast future asset values.

Let’s start with why the question is so critical. Ideally, you’ve been saving for four to five decades to build your nest egg. Now that you’ve stopped working, you want to use that hard-earned money for daily expenses, health care and the things you wanted to do while you were working — like taking a month-long African safari. But you also want to make sure your money lasts until you or your spouse dies, whichever comes later. Often, you want it to last even longer: Many people hope to pass along some of their assets to their children, grandchildren and other loved ones.

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The good news for women: they live longer, so they will have longer to enjoy their retirement. The bad news: they live longer, and so their retirement will be much more expensive than for their male counterparts.

The fly in the ointment: As a woman, you may have to put in more effort before you get to enjoy a worry-free, financially secure retirement.

Women earn an average of 76 percent of men’s salaries. Does that shock you? Yes, even now, women are still way behind the earning curve in corporate America. But rather than get into a discussion of the fairness or unfairness of it all, let’s concentrate on just what women can do to ensure that they aren’t left out to dry in their retirement age!

After all, because women typically live longer than men, combined with the skyrocketing divorce rate, many women will find themselves alone in their older years. (Statistics show that most women are alone by age 56!) And the figures show us that if a woman took out any time from her career to have children (about seven years) she will pay for it later with only 50% of what her male counterparts will receive in retirement benefits.

So, what can a woman do to ensure that she can retire in style? Start by taking a look at some of our suggestions below.

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retirement-planning.jpgWhen people discuss retiring or having a sea change or chasing their passion, the different reactions usually involve money: “I’d love to do it but I don’t have enough money.”

You reach retirement age and don’t have enough to retire on, you’ll be left with two options, either to delay your retirement or reduce your standard of living in retirement. Which one would you choose?

It always helps to know what you are aiming at and wealth creation is no different. I will assume that you want to build wealth in order to be able to retire and still live well. How much money will you really need?

I was attending a wealth building conference and one of the other speakers, a financial planner, made a statement that when you retire you only need about 50% of you pre-retirement income. I was amazed at this statement and I asked him back stage how he came to that conclusion. He told me that all retired people do is sit around and watch television all day.

My response to him was that this was a description of what broke people do (namely his clients). Retired people who have successfully built a decent wealth portfolio are living the time of their life! What are you aiming at? The lifestyle of the television watching clients of our financial planning friend or the time of your life lifestyle that comes with wealth?

How much will you need for a good lifestyle in retirement?

The short answer is that, if you want to maintain the lifestyle that you are accustomed to then you will need a monthly income equal to your monthly income one month before you retired. Anything less and there is something that you will have to give up.

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http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com There has always been a need for retirement planning and today is certainly no different. There are many other types of retirement plans that are available to you. You will need to take the time needed to evaluate what your current financial needs are and what you expect the future to hold.

You must keep in mind that your planning today is not just for the ideal future, but the future that will be reality for you if things turn out to not be ideal or according to your plans today. By starting early and contributing the maximum that you can afford, you will have a better chance of being prepared for the unforeseen.

Unsure of what you will need for retirement? Are you on track or not? Don’t forget that life expectancy is getting longer. Today you can expect to live 20-30 years past retirement and, suddenly, the amount you need to retire comfortably with a major change in lifestyle gets very large.

Lets say that today you need $40,000 to live on and you retire in 20 years, you will need a minimum of $850,000 to carry you through retirement. That is assuming that you will live an additional 20 years after you retire and are in good health.

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retirement_planning.gifThere has always been a need for retirement planning and today is certainly no different. There are many types of retirement plans that are available to you. You will need to take the time needed to evaluate what your current financial needs are and what you expect the future to hold.

You must keep in mind that your planning today is not just for the ideal future, but the future that will be reality for you if things turn out to not be ideal or according to your plans today. By starting early and contributing the maximum that you can afford, you will have a better chance of being prepared for the unforeseen.

Unsure of what you will need for retirement? Are you on track or not? Don’t forget that life expectancy is getting longer. Today you can expect to live 20-30 years past retirement and, suddenly, the amount you need to retire comfortably with a major change in lifestyle gets very large.

Lets say that today you need $40,000 to live on and you retire in 20 years, you will need a minimum of $800,000 to carry you through retirement. That is assuming that you will live an additional 20 years after you retire and are in good health.

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3958-0med1.jpgDon’t fall behind. Finance charges, interest payments, getting discouraged about your finances… all problems that can occur if you let yourself fall behind. Whether it’s bills, credit cards, or student loan payments, falling behind can be a very difficult problem to come back from. The more you have to pay out in charges, the less you will have to invest in your future.

Set goals. If you don’t know where you are headed, how do you get there? In order to accumulate wealth you need a plan. Write out your goals, a way to achieve them, and you’ll be on your way to an early retirement.

Invest early. The greatest thing you can do to build wealth is start early. Even if you can’t invest much, start with what you can and let your money grow over time. As Albert Einstein said, “compound interest is the greatest mathematical discovery of all time.”

Invest in what you know. Whether you are looking to invest in real estate, stocks, or anything else, make sure you know how the investment works. The great Warren Buffett was often criticized for not investing in technology during the dot-com boom. His answer was simple. If you don’t know the business model, what the company does on a day to day basis, or how it generates revenue now, and in the future, then stay away from it. This principle can be applied to all types of investing.

Don’t do what the crowd is doing. When everyone is starting to get into an investment, that is generally when the smart investors are getting out. If everybody knows a stock is hot, or that their real estate market is booming, it generally indicates a bubble and that it’s time to cash out. Investors make money buying low and selling high. If an investment is hot and lots of money is flowing into it, you can’t buy low.

Don’t try get rich quick schemes. Don’t get greedy. This is easier said then done, but don’t try to gain too much too fast. Building wealth takes time and hard work… there is no easy way to get rich.

Save more. This is another one that sounds pretty basic, but can be difficult to achieve. Often times people want the instant gratification and go out and treat themselves. If you have some money burning a hole in your pocket at the end of the month, save it. Think about how nice it will be when that money is working for you rather than heading out shopping.

corporate_caricatures_retirement.jpgFor many people, the closer they get to retirement, the more concerned they get about whether they have saved enough or not. And it’s understandable. With life expectancy climbing and the ability to not only live longer but to do so with a higher quality of life growing as well, it stands to reason that some people will be a little uneasy when their last pay check gets ever closer. Are you one of those people?

The first thing you should do if you find yourself close to retirement with no savings is to calculate the amount of money you will need during retirement as well as what age you plan on retiring. You will find many resources online that will help you come up with this number such as retirement calculators.

Identify Needs: There are many financial needs to think about when getting close to retirement, from wondering what your Old Age Security benefit will look like. You may even think about what it will be like to live on a fixed income for the rest of your life.

But before you do anything, just relax. Don’t try to think about everything at once. Just because you’re close to retirement doesn’t mean you stop planning. As a matter of fact, it’s a great time to refine your plan, or even put one in place for your golden years.
Now that you know how much money you will need on average you can set some savings goals for yourself. There are plenty of ways you can save money from shopping with coupons to taking your lunch to work with you to not buying a new car every year. Wherever you are spending money and can scale back, do. It will mean the difference between a happy retirement and a stressful one.

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Dollar-cost averaging is a strategy in which a person invests a fixed dollar amount on a regular basis, usually monthly purchase of shares in a mutual fund. When the fund’s price declines, the investor receives slightly more shares for the fixed investment amount, and slightly fewer when the share price is up. It turns out that this strategy results in lowering the average cost slightly, assuming the fund fluctuates up and down

dollarcost1.jpgDollar-cost averaging is carried out simply by investing a fixed dollar amount into your mutual fund (or other investment instrument) at pre-determined intervals. The amount of money invested at each interval remains the same over time, but the number of shares purchased varies based on the market value of the shares.

When the markets are up, you buy fewer shares per dollar invested due to the higher cost per share. When the markets are down, the situation is reversed and you purchase a greater of number of shares per dollar invested. It’s a strategic way to invest because you buy more shares when the cost is low, so you get an average cost per share over time, meaning you don’t have to invest the time and effort to monitor market movements and strategically time your investments.

Dollar-cost averaging – the basic premise behind employer-sponsored savings plans like is the practice of investing a set amount each month in a particular investment vehicle. As the share price of your investment fluctuates, so will the number of shares your set amount buys. Sometimes you’ll pay more and sometimes the stock or mutual fund will decrease in value, allowing you to purchase additional shares.

With the vast and varied information available on investing, many have chosen to stop chasing yesterday’s high returns. Using dollar-cost averaging helps them ride out the ups and downs of the market.

Dollar cost averaging involves continuous investment in securities, regardless of fluctuating price levels. Investors should consider their ability to continue purchases through periods of low price levels r chancing economic conditions. Dollar cost average does not assure a profit and does not protect against a loss in a declining market.

Dollar-cost averaging isn’t for everyone. Short-term investors and those concerned about market volatility won’t benefit from the slow and steady pace of dollar-cost averaging. Always meet with a financial professional before investing. For those who want to invest a consistent amount each month and potentially lessen the effects of market volatility, it might be an option.

The main conclusion I can draw that one should not delay investing. If you want to invest, say, $100 in a mutual fund in a year, you should start invest immediately. If you have $1,200 spare money to invest on the first work day of January, split it to quarterly or monthly, as the markets could be on a high on 1st January and you are stuck with the same purchase price. It also helps make investing easier to budget, as the same dollar amount will be purchased at regular, predictable intervals.

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