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Be Ready to Retire

Place yourself on a solid financial footing.

Cover all the bases for secure and comfortable living after your working days are done. Begin by assessing your current financial situation and your needs for your retirement years. Most people overestimate how much they can spend comfortably in retirement. If you are unsure or  worried about a shortfall in your savings, see a trusted professional for financial planning advice.

Time to play catch-up?

If you're over 50 and worry that your retirement savings are insufficient, you're entitled to make additional, pre-tax, catch-up contributions to your IRA or 401(k).  Ask your financial advisor what the current limits are.

Stay on top of your portfolio

At this stage in your life, preserving your wealth is priority #1. Review your portfolio to ensure that your risk exposure is as low as possible. Additionally, check with your financial or tax advisor to make certain that withdrawals from your accounts will have minimal tax impact.

Keep the income coming in

In your younger years, you probably built your portfolio on higher risk, growth investments. If you haven't been doing so already, it's definitely time to shift gears and minimize market swings. Adding bonds and other risk-reducing investments can enhance income and provide smoother returns, making your money last longer.

How much to add, and when, are difficult decisions. A qualified advisor can help you determine the right strategy.

You may also wish to consider investing in an annuity, which will regularly pay out a defined sum to you over your lifetime or for a period of time that you specify.

Think long-term care

Long-term care insurance is an important way to protect your wealth that Medicare or health insurance won't. Should you require lengthy home care, nursing home care, or assisted living, long-term care insurance will help defray the costs.

Remember estate planning

Review your will and insurance policies to confirm that they correctly designate your beneficiaries. Confer with your tax or financial advisor about ways you can minimize the tax impact for your heirs.

Related Links

Retirement Calculators

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