|The ABC's of baby boomer retirement planning
If you are one of America's 78.2 million baby boomers, you are likely considering what ideal retirement will look like, and the steps required to achieve it. With the current economic downturn, many boomers are finding it necessary to revisit their initial retirement goals.
According to the Social Security Administration, today's retirees count on corporate pensions and Social Security for 56 percent of their retirement income. With a few minor adjustments, some careful planning and a positive attitude, the other 44 percent is attainable. Consider the following ABC's of retirement planning:
A: Assess your financial plan and budget.
• Begin to assess your basic retirement income sources such as a 401(k) plan, IRA, and life insurance plans.
• How much will you need to retire? Determine this by creating a budget that will enable you to pay your monthly expenses such as food, heat, rent and transportation. Consider expenses that may increase such as health insurance and prescription medicines. At the same time, consider those that may decrease, such as work-related and educational spending.
• Health care coverage is necessary in supplementing your financial foundation and these costs can add up fast. It's important to have an adequate plan both before and after retirement. After age 65 you are eligible for Medicare coverage. But what if you want to retire before then? Your employer may offer a plan for retiring employees, or you may have to look into private coverage, so be sure to consider this.
• Take into account variable expenses such as tax liabilities on your home, illness or the care of elderly parents. Other, often underestimated, variables include gifts, clothing, recreational expenses, and increases in costs of living. For valuable retirement planning resources and projected trends in costs of living visit www.usa.gov.
B: Begin to explore other retirement income options.
• Determine the amount of guaranteed retirement income you already have. Examples of these are cash savings, corporate pension plans, home equity, or annuity-type investments.
• Are you married? If so, how will that affect your retirement budget?
• Pay attention to how your retirement funds are earning money. Are they structured for maximum returns? It's crucial that you continually assess these funds.
• Decide when to begin Social Security benefits. According to AARP, for each year you put off collecting your benefits between ages 62 and 70, you increase your payments by 8 percent.
• Calculate your potential monthly retirement budget based on your estimated income weighed against your expenses. At minimum, you need enough retirement income to cover basic living expenses for your lifetime.
• If your initial assessment requires additional income, consider part-time work during retirement, or perhaps selling your larger home for a more comfortable, carefree condo.
C: Consider life insurance - the foundation of a solid retirement plan.
• If you don't have a life insurance policy, get one. Life insurance not only helps to leave a legacy for generations to come, it will protect your loved ones and help provide them with financial security once you're gone.
• Consult an expert in order to find the right life insurance for you.
Start planning your retirement today. With a little strategy and the right attitude, you can build the financial security you need to live a successful, happy retirement.
Courtesy of ARAcontent