Tag Archives: Retirement

Five Retirement Myths To Address Prior To Retirement

The Golden Years are the times in our lives when we look forward to enjoying the freedom afforded us by a lifetime of having worked and saved. We anticipate our retirement years as times when we can enjoy the fruits of our labors and spend time in pursuit of hobbies we hadn’t had time for previously.

The truth, though, for many individuals as they near retirement age is that they may not be as prepared as they’d imagined they were, nor have they used their accumulated wealth in the most fiscally sound manner.

Many of us that have reached, or are nearing retirement age, understand that planning for retirement is difficult, but living in retirement can be even more of a challenge. There are steps that can be taken, and retirement myths that must be debunked for those of us that are nearing retirement age, they are:

Having $1 million in cash, assets and 401Ks will be enough. In the past, this may have been true, but in 2013, $1 million doesn’t buy what it used to, and saving that much in assets is out of reach for many middle class Americans. Working with a financial advisor and making certain he understands your retirement desires – travel, lifestyle, etc. – will go a long way in help you ensure you have the funds you need when you’re in your Golden Years.

  1. Healthcare costs may be a big budget item, but it’s not likely that it will be the biggest you will face in retirement. The number one expense most retirees face are taxes. The fact that many individuals will be drawing money from assets they have enjoyed tax deferral status on during their working years, is not one that is always considered when retirement draws near. It’s important to work with your financial advisor to devise a plan to meet the tax responsibilities that arise when you begin drawing on your tax deferred retirement savings.
  2. Moving to a smaller home will reap large rewards. While in some instances a smaller home may be more beneficial for some individuals, downsizing to save money may not be the end result. In some cases, it may be more cost effective to remodel the existing family home to meet the needs of the aging residents. When you consider the fact that many seniors will have paid off the family home, it may not make sense for them to take on another mortgage payment. For example, closing off the upper floors and moving the living space to a ground floor may make more sense. Age-proofing the home with updated, senior friendly bathroom fixtures and rearranging cupboard space could be more cost effective and allow the senior to age in place in familiar surroundings. Additionally, the investment in a home medical alert system also provides peace of mind to the senior and the family members that if a medical emergency arises, the senior will have immediate access to health care at the push of a button.
  3. Speaking of homes and mortgages, it may not always make sense to pay off one’s home mortgage early; this hinges on the interest rate on the home as compared to interest rates on other items you’re paying off on a monthly basis. If you have a mortgage that has a low interest rate, and if mortgage interest remains a tax deductible expense, it may make sense to simply pay additional amounts on the monthly mortgage payment rather than cashing in a retirement account to pay it off entirely. Paying off high interest rate car loans or credit card debt is a more fiscally sound approach.
  4. Don’t rely on Medicare to cover your healthcare expenses. The purpose of Medicare is to provide coverage in the event of a catastrophic illness or injury, not as a way to cover healthcare costs. Medigap and other supplemental coverages are available for individuals in need of healthcare coverage. It is best to check on costs and providers for additional healthcare coverage prior to retirement.

 

 

 

Planning early for retirement is the best course of action, but even those individuals who haven’t taken the time to meet with a financial advisor in the past, can reap the benefits as a way to make living in retirement a more enjoyable venture.

 

Volunteering Is Good For Your Health And Well-Being

Studies show that individuals who remain active and involved have an improved brain function and an overall sense of well-being. For many individuals, retirement brings with it a wealth of free-time but may also bring a feeling of being disconnected. Because people spend so many years juggling family, careers and other daily responsibilities, the downtime associated with retirement may lead to despair and depression. A way to combat this lack of purpose that comes with retirement is by volunteering. The benefits of volunteering are myriad and include the sense of well-being from helping others as well as having a sense of purpose cannot be discounted.

Some of the benefits of volunteering include:

  • Reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s: Because volunteers feel a greater satisfaction with their lives and have a higher quality of life than those who don’t volunteer, the risk of Alzheimer’s can be lessened.
  • Lower rate of mortality: Getting up and out of the house on a semi-regular basis not only benefits the charity or place they volunteer but it also benefits him or her by keeping them active, social and engaged in the community.
  • Keeping bones and joints strong. UCLA researchers found that “productive activities” could prevent the onset of frailty, a condition marked by low energy, low strength, weight loss and lowered physical activity. Reducing the impact of frailty could help a senior avoid a trip or fall accident which befalls many seniors over the age of 65.
  • Brain function improvements: Seniors that participate in activities remain more alert and cognizant and this can help them age in place for more years than those who don’t participate in outside activities.

In addition to the benefits listed, volunteering offers immediate satisfaction by imparting a sense of accomplishment, purpose, enhanced social skills and helping by staying connected and involved. As a caregiver it may be a good idea to discuss the possibility of volunteering with the seniors in your life. Help them find an organization that is a good fit for their skills and abilities. Helping keep them active will enhance their ability to remain active and enable them to live independently.

Take Steps Toward An Active Retirement

Individuals who’ve budgeted and planned for it are retiring earlier than in the past. It’s important to keep mind and body healthy to make the most of your  golden years.

Potential retirees should make plans now to set goals for health and wellness when they no longer have to deal with the commute and punching a time clock. Just as you had the daily routine of getting up and going to work, so too should you have a daily routine and goals once you’re retired. Daily goals can be as simple as signing up for a cooking class or walking around the block. Setting longer term goals are also ideal as it gives you something to work toward and breaks a large goal into smaller, more manageable chunks, for example, a goal of saving for a month long drive across the country, or learning to play a musical instrument.  Here are five other steps to take to enjoy an active, healthy retirement:

  1. Learn something new. Keeping your mind active goes a long way in staying alert as you age. Consider taking a class at a local college or senior center or even taking an online course. If you enjoy working with your hands, take a cooking class or learn a craft such as woodworking or needlecrafts.
  2. Keep active. Develop an exercise program that keeps you active and moving. You don’t need to join a gym but you could sign up for a line dancing class, make it  a point to walk a mile (or more) a day, or taking up a sport suitable for your age.
  3. Work a part-time job. Now that you’re retired from your fulltime career, it might be the time to look into a part time job in a field that you’ve always had an interest in. Work at a bookstore or a craft shop. If you enjoy gardening, plant a garden and sell the produce. If you’re an internet whiz, consider teaching courses to seniors that aren’t as web savvy as you are.
  4. Volunteer  your time. Now that you’re not tied to a 40-hour workweek, it might be the time to invest time with a favorite charity or at a local church. You may even become a room aid at a local elementary. Keeping yourself occupied and involved helps you age gracefully and will also help you form new friendships.
  5. Speaking of friendships, make plans to get out of the house and meet a friend for lunch or a movie. Keeping in touch with your friends gives you something to look forward to and keeps you involved in the lives of those you love.

Being active in retirement will allow you a better opportunity to be able to age in place and enjoy your golden years.

 

Take Steps Toward An Active Retirement

Individuals who’ve budgeted and planned for it are retiring earlier than in the past. It’s important to keep mind and body healthy to make the most of your  golden years.

Potential retirees should make plans now to set goals for health and wellness when they no longer have to deal with the commute and punching a time clock. Just as you had the daily routine of getting up and going to work, so too should you have a daily routine and goals once you’re retired. Daily goals can be as simple as signing up for a cooking class or walking around the block. Setting longer term goals are also ideal as it gives you something to work toward and breaks a large goal into smaller, more manageable chunks, for example, a goal of saving for a month long drive across the country, or learning to play a musical instrument.  Here are five other steps to take to enjoy an active, healthy retirement:

  1. Learn something new. Keeping your mind active goes a long way in staying alert as you age. Consider taking a class at a local college or senior center or even taking an online course. If you enjoy working with your hands, take a cooking class or learn a craft such as woodworking or needlecrafts.
  2. Keep active. Develop an exercise program that keeps you active and moving. You don’t need to join a gym but you could sign up for a line dancing class, make it  a point to walk a mile (or more) a day, or taking up a sport suitable for your age.
  3. Work a part-time job. Now that you’re retired from your fulltime career, it might be the time to look into a part time job in a field that you’ve always had an interest in. Work at a bookstore or a craft shop. If you enjoy gardening, plant a garden and sell the produce. If you’re an internet whiz, consider teaching courses to seniors that aren’t as web savvy as you are.
  4. Volunteer  your time. Now that you’re not tied to a 40-hour workweek, it might be the time to invest time with a favorite charity or at a local church. You may even become a room aid at a local elementary. Keeping yourself occupied and involved helps you age gracefully and will also help you form new friendships.
  5. Speaking of friendships, make plans to get out of the house and meet a friend for lunch or a movie. Keeping in touch with your friends gives you something to look forward to and keeps you involved in the lives of those you love.

Being active in retirement will allow you a better opportunity to be able to age in place and enjoy your golden years.

 

Five Retirement Mistakes To Avoid

Retirement planning is a life task that individuals need to be thinking about sooner rather than later especially when you consider how high the stakes are to make certain you’re financially secure. Worrying about money is not something many individuals want to worry about in their twilight years, but lack of prior planning sometimes means our aging parents need to make choices between aging safely in place, or having to move in with a family member.

Getting a grasp in financial freedom and addressing money issues early in your working yearsmakes the most sense even though retirement may seem such a long way off that the concept is difficult to grasp.

Here are five steps to take now to make your golden years as enjoyable and financially secure as possible:

  1. It’s never too late to establish a budget for your retirement. The best way to prepare is to determine how much money you will need to comfortably survive when you retire. Calculate your debts and expenses and weigh it against your anticipated income. Analyze the figures and make changes now, if possible, to address any shortfalls.
  2. Don’t ignore inflation when calculating living expenses. Your 2013 budget will likely look dramatically different than your 2022 budget. Establishing a budget now is an excellent start, but account for inflation in both income and expenses.
  3. Don’t be too aggressive in your investments. When individuals near retirement, their first impulse is to become aggressive in investing in stocks. Most financial advisors caution that stocks are one of the most high risk retirement planning methods available. Diversify your investments into various funds and sources to prepare for your assets and check with your financial adviser on how best to distribute your retirement funds.
  4. You will need to calculate your life expectancy. Bear in mind that there is a 50 percent chance that you or your spouse could exceed the average life expectancy. Make certain you take that into consideration when planning your budget and your savings. Add an addition 10 to 15 years to the amount of time you will live.
  5. Don’t rely on Social Security to carry you through your golden years. Inflation does play a role in the amount of Social Security an individual receives but the rate of increases in this payment rarely keeps up with inflation. It’s never clear what programs or benefits the government will cut to balance the budget and even though you may have worked to earn the Social Security payment, its receipt is no longer a given.

Setting up a budget and making plans for retirement also includes taking steps to remain healthy and active. If you plan to age in place, it’s also a good idea to take a critical look at the family home and age-proof it for safety. Additionally, when making budgets and plans for aging, consider equipping the home with a medical alert device, these devices can be purchased for pennies a day, but the peace of mind it offers is priceless.

Taking Charge Of Senior Living Accommodations

Before your children are faced with the decision of “where will Mom and Dad live when they can no longer remain at home” you can begin looking into housing options. When faced with retirement and aging, seniors should be taking an active role in making a determination on where they will spend their Golden Years. After all, you’ve worked hard for decades and now is the time to decide whether you want to remain in the family home, travel the country, or even decide where you would like to live out your Golden Years – an ocean front assisted living space, an independent living facility that overlooks a golf course, or any number of other choices.

Once you’ve retired you may be faced with the question of, “What’s next?” Rather than being frozen in place when looking into the future, you should take time and make a list of what it is you want to do that perhaps you never had time to do while pursuing your career and raising your family. Has golf always been a passion? Do you enjoy sitting on a deck overlooking the water? Is the idea of living in a small town that you’d visited on vacation appeal as a long term solution? Chances are, regardless of your passions and hobbies, you can find an assisted living or independent living facility to suit your needs.

If you’ve made a decision to sell the family home and move to an independent living facility you may want to decide whether you’re moving closer to a particular family member or somewhere that is far from all your children. There will come a time when you will need to rely on family, especially as you age. Meanwhile, equipping your home with a home medical alarm system, is a great solution that can even move with you an assisted living facility. Having access to your medical alert device, even in an assisted living setting, provides an additional layer of protection and peace of mind.

Tell your children that you’re making a move because you simply don’t want to keep up with home maintenance and the higher utility bills that come with home ownership. Let them know where you’re considering moving and get their buy in on your decision. Chances are they will embrace your decision as it frees them from having to make tough choices on your behalf in later years.

The money you make from the sale of your home and the downsizing of your personal belongings can certainly be used to finance your new lifestyle in an independent living facility or assisted living community. If you’re healthy, energetic, physically active and mentally sharp, moving into one of these communities will provide outlets for socialization while allowing you the freedom of independence in your own apartment-type setting.

“Retirement living” has taken on an entirely new meaning in recent years as the aging population continues to remain active and are taking a more active role in their care as they age. Begin your search by determining what area of the country you’d like to live in then narrow down the search by looking at the amenities offered by the various locations. Spend time visiting these facilities – think of it as a mini-vacation – before making any life-altering decisions.

Chances are you will find that while amenities vary from facility to facility, most independent living communities cater to seniors looking for an active lifestyle and will provide recreational opportunities and access to sports such as golf or swimming. If you’ve always had a love of cooking or crafting or painting, look for an independent living community that caters to those hobbies as well.

The camaraderie you find at an independent living community can go a long way in making your Golden Years shine. By being active and involved you will be working to enhance both your physical and mental health and remain capable of aging in place for decades to come.

Taking Charge Of Senior Living Accommodations

Before your children are faced with the decision of “where will Mom and Dad live when they can no longer remain at home” you can begin looking into housing options. When faced with retirement and aging, seniors should be taking an active role in making a determination on where they will spend their Golden Years. After all, you’ve worked hard for decades and now is the time to decide whether you want to remain in the family home, travel the country, or even decide where you would like to live out your Golden Years – an ocean front assisted living space, an independent living facility that overlooks a golf course, or any number of other choices.

Once you’ve retired you may be faced with the question of, “What’s next?” Rather than being frozen in place when looking into the future, you should take time and make a list of what it is you want to do that perhaps you never had time to do while pursuing your career and raising your family. Has golf always been a passion? Do you enjoy sitting on a deck overlooking the water? Is the idea of living in a small town that you’d visited on vacation appeal as a long term solution? Chances are, regardless of your passions and hobbies, you can find an assisted living or independent living facility to suit your needs.

If you’ve made a decision to sell the family home and move to an independent living facility you may want to decide whether you’re moving closer to a particular family member or somewhere that is far from all your children. There will come a time when you will need to rely on family, especially as you age. Meanwhile, equipping your home with a home medical alarm system, is a great solution that can even move with you an assisted living facility. Having access to your medical alert device, even in an assisted living setting, provides an additional layer of protection and peace of mind.

Tell your children that you’re making a move because you simply don’t want to keep up with home maintenance and the higher utility bills that come with home ownership. Let them know where you’re considering moving and get their buy in on your decision. Chances are they will embrace your decision as it frees them from having to make tough choices on your behalf in later years.

The money you make from the sale of your home and the downsizing of your personal belongings can certainly be used to finance your new lifestyle in an independent living facility or assisted living community. If you’re healthy, energetic, physically active and mentally sharp, moving into one of these communities will provide outlets for socialization while allowing you the freedom of independence in your own apartment-type setting.

“Retirement living” has taken on an entirely new meaning in recent years as the aging population continues to remain active and are taking a more active role in their care as they age. Begin your search by determining what area of the country you’d like to live in then narrow down the search by looking at the amenities offered by the various locations. Spend time visiting these facilities – think of it as a mini-vacation – before making any life-altering decisions.

Chances are you will find that while amenities vary from facility to facility, most independent living communities cater to seniors looking for an active lifestyle and will provide recreational opportunities and access to sports such as golf or swimming. If you’ve always had a love of cooking or crafting or painting, look for an independent living community that caters to those hobbies as well.

The camaraderie you find at an independent living community can go a long way in making your Golden Years shine. By being active and involved you will be working to enhance both your physical and mental health and remain capable of aging in place for decades to come.