How healthcare costs can eat away your Social Security

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Originally created during the Great Depression as a safety net for workers and their families, Social Security has become a major source of income for many retirees. If you’re in retirement or getting close, chances are good that Social Security is featured prominently in your financial planning.

You may have heard that Social Security funding is in a precarious state. But rising healthcare costs pose an even greater risk.Continue reading

A New View of Healthy Aging

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Keep a healthy weight, watch your diet, and make sure your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and other crucial numbers are in a normal range. That’s what we’ve been told for years are the essentials for good health.

But now a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is proposing a new model of health. Under this model, some people who are traditionally considered unhealthy are actually the healthiest people; conversely, many people who would be considered healthy actually have significant underlying issues that increase the chances that they die or become incapacitated within five years.Continue reading

When should you claim Social Security?

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One of the biggest decisions for most retirees is when to claim Social Security retirement benefits. A majority of retirees depend on Social Security for the bulk of their income, according to the Social Security Administration. The decision of when to take benefits has repercussions not only for your retirement, but also for your spouse and family.Continue reading

How today’s retirees are doing: Findings from the latest Transamerica survey

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Most new retirees and those approaching retirement say they’re short of what they need for retirement, but nevertheless are confident in their prospects for a successful retirement. The majority of retirees left the workforce earlier than planned. Most retirees are in good health and expect a long retirement. The vast majority of retirees are happy and enjoying life.

The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies just released the results of its 16th annual retirement survey, and those are some of the major findings. The survey results are always enlightening, and reinforce timeless lessons for those preparing for retirement.Continue reading

Want to start a business in retirement? Here are some things to consider

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Are you thinking of starting a new business in retirement? If so, you’re not alone. Starting and running a business comes with challenges, but can be rewarding for active retirees who want to bring in income while serving their communities. Although many retirees open businesses out of passion and a sense of purpose, any income you do earn will help you pad your retirement savings so you can spend a little more or leave a larger inheritance. Here are some considerations for starting a business in retirement.Continue reading

3 ways men and women view retirement differently

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What makes a satisfying retirement? Everyone’s idea of happiness in retirement is somewhat different,  although there are some commonalities like relatively good health and financial freedom. One factor that apparently makes a big difference is whether you’re a man or a woman. Men and women view retirement differently, prepare for it differently, and engage in it differently. That’s one major finding from the 2016 Voices of Experience Survey by TIAA, the financial services provider to nonprofit organizations. This has implications for retirement advisors, and also for you if you and your spouse are entering retirement together.Continue reading

5 tips that could save your life in a medical emergency

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The time to plan for an emergency is not while one is happening. It’s a good idea to plan ahead for emergencies, since you never know when one is going to arise, and when it does you want to know exactly what to do.

For seniors, even those in good health, the chances of medical emergencies are somewhat greater than for most younger people. So here are some things to do before and during an emergency that might save your life or someone in your family. It’s not necessarily pleasant to think about, but if the need arises, you’ll be glad you prepared. Continue reading

A minimalist approach to your retirement spending

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Sometimes you need a budget. If you’re saving for a significant purchase or investment in the future, a budget is useful to keep track of how much you’re putting away. Take the amount you will need, divide by the number of months until you will need it, and you know how much to put aside each month.

Many people also track their overall spending, especially in retirement. The conventional budgeting process says to devote a certain percentage of your income to essential expenses like bills and insurance, a certain percentage to discretionary expenses like dining out and vacations, and a certain percentage to investing for future needs. If that’s you, then that’s great – more power to you. But if you’re not like that, there is another way to go.Continue reading

4 retirement money wasters to avoid

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Many retirees are concerned whether their savings will last through retirement. Prudent investing can certainly help, so that your money will grow, but the other important element is to manage your spending and avoid unnecessary expenses. Here are some common retirement money wasters that could make the bottom fall out of your retirement nest egg.Continue reading

For a happy retirement, begin planning now

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You’ve no doubt heard about the importance of planning financially for retirement. You’ve been saving and investing for years or decades, while looking forward to the happy days when you get to play golf every day, travel the world, work part-time, take up a hobby, spend time with grandchildren, or just relax.

But many retirees find it’s often difficult to turn their satisfying dreams of retirement into reality. There are many reasons for that. Here are important nonfinancial things you should do to plan for retirement as well.Continue reading

Will your expenses really decrease in retirement?

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How will your expenses really change in retirement? This is a question of crucial concern to many retirees, who are looking at significant shortfalls in savings needed to maintain their current lifestyles. Some articles point out that many of your expenses will decrease or disappear completely in retirement, and therefore you can live comfortably on less than you think.

But it’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future, as Yogi Berra supposedly said. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released a report about spending by current retirees. While their situations are different from yours, this information can provide some insight into what your own experience might be.Continue reading

5 tips to smoothing the retirement transition

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Retirement can be a time of joy, relief, and relaxation after a long career. Many people look forward to leaving their job behind and finally having time to themselves. In retirement, you no longer have the physical and mental toll of a stressful job, and you get to pick and choose how to spend your days and nights. You also have total flexibility: whatever your plans are can be altered and rescheduled as you choose. You can take advantage of opportunities as they arise. You are no longer forced to travel, dine, or go to the park during peak times since your schedule is wide open.

But retirement is also a major change, and every change can be filled with uncertainty. With some planning, you can avoid some of the common pitfalls and make the transition smoothly. Here are a few suggestions.Continue reading

Retiring unexpectedly? Here are 7 things to do

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It’s nice to be able to leave the working world at a time of your choosing. Unfortunately, not all of us have that privilege. When you have to make the jump to retirement unexpectedly, you have to make some sudden adjustments. Here are some tips to help you along.Continue reading

How to prepare for a longer retirement than you might think

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How long will your retirement last? No one can know, although there are calculators such as the Social Security life-expectancy calculator that can help give you an estimate. But people are living longer than before. After retirement, you may live for another 20 years or more. Are you prepared for a retirement that could last for decades? Here are some things to consider.Continue reading

Is a state-run IRA right for you?

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For years, much publicity and press have been focused on the retirement savings gap. Some 45 percent of working-age households, or 38 million, have no retirement account assets, according to the National Institute on Retirement Security. The average working household has virtually no retirement savings.Continue reading

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