Do you feel that you are financially prepared for retirement?
What have you done to prepare yourself for the financial aspects of post retirement? Do you have any suggestions for others?
I am in my mid-50's and now that my kids are grown and gone, I am preparing more aggressively for retirement. The first thing I figured out was to determine what I can control and what I can't.
I can't completely control my rate of investment return or my health in retirement. So, I work on what I can control.
I can control my rate of savings (I continue to try to increase it). I can control at least some of my expenses, particularly as they relate to debt. I have paid off all of my non-mortgage debt and am now working on that (I don't see how you can retire and still have a mortgage). Our house, while big, is smaller than our old house and cost at least 30-40% less. A smaller house in addition to having a smaller mortgage usually has lower real estate taxes, lower utilities, and since it is smaller, it won't hold as much "stuff" (things you think you need, buy and then never use).
Overall, I can control my expenses by determining what I need, want, and can do without. I pay for what I need, decide when and what to pay for the things I want, and make every effort to stop paying for the things I can do without.
I can diversify my investments not only for a diversified portfolio to decrease risk and volatility (hopefully), but also tax diversify to try to reduce my income taxes in retirement.
I can protect my assets with appropriate life, health, disability, long term care, and liability insurance.
I can spend a little money now to travel and enjoy the good health I have now, but have no guarantee to have in retirement.
You could argue I am taking a 'glass half empty' approach and I am. I would rather be pleasantly surprised in retirement than terribly disappointed.
Personally, I'm not prepared in the slightest for my retirement. I do have another 30 yrs to work on it and, for that, I'm grateful. I suffer with treatment resistant depression which can often mean I am unable to work for periods of time. I hope as time goes on and my career advances I will be in a position to start saving or thinking of the future. I think for many people who experience long-term mental illness the thought of post-retirement living dependent on state support is a very scary thought.
Yes and no.
I was set to retire at 62, draw Social Security, draw from my 401K annuity and retain the company insurance until Medicare kicked it.
I was let go (nice way of saying fired) before I was 60--nice severance, but the insurance was limited to one year of COBRA (company paid), but finding insurance has been a pain. Will still start SS at 62. Drawing unemployment now. Looking at a tighter six months down the road next year, but we will make it. Not exactly the plan I had, but a few adjustments are always to be expected. My broker got my 401K in an annuity with a guarantee growth rate--cannot go down. Had I not followed his advice--and it was before the market crashed, I would be in trouble, because efforts to find at job at 60+ have been unsuccessful.
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