Retirement Planning in Your Later Years - Eight Tips to Start

It's never too late to start your retirement planning savings. Even if you are in your 60s there are things you can start today. Here are eight tips to jump start a retirement plan in your later years:

  1. Be aware of your current spending habits and calculate how much money you will need to live comfortably in the future.
  2. Meet with a retirement planning expert to come up with a strategy that will take into account all of your needs.
  3. Paying off debt should be a top priority. Once debts are paid off start putting whatever you can toward retirement savings. Even in small increments it will begin to add up.
  4. Practice living on a budget and eliminate unnecessary spending. When you reach retirement you will need to learn to live on what you have saved and not go beyond what has been budgeted. Practice living on a fixed income now to get used to your lifestyle once you do retire.
  5. Don’t depend on Social Security benefits. Many believe that Social Security alone will cover their needs; this is often not the case. According to the Social Security Administration, the average monthly check at the beginning of 2012 was $1,230.
  6. Participate in your employer’s 401k plan for savings. Many employers will match your contribution up to a certain level; take full advantage of this to maximize your return.
  7. Build your savings in a Roth IRA account, while diversifying your investments in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and more. With the Roth IRA, contributions are made with after-tax dollars and withdrawals are generally tax free. Any transaction done within the account has no tax impact.
  8. Going from working five days a week to not working at all is major lifestyle change. Consider a phased retirement where you work a couple days each week or just a few months out of the year.

Many have been impacted by the recession with unemployment, a plummeting stock portfolio and major losses in property values.

 Accept the reality of the current economic situation, but don’t let it deter you from reaching your goals. It may take more time to retire than you originally hoped, but being proactive in your approach will eventually get you there.

By Alyssa Marie Vincent

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