Surprise! Sometimes retirement just happens to you

surprisedkidPicking the optimal retirement age is a complex balancing act among several factors. On the one hand, you want to leave the 9-to-5 life while you’re still young enough to enjoy your golden years. But you also want to make sure your savings are enough to last through your retirement and to fund the lifestyle you want. Statistics show the majority of workers retire much earlier than planned.
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For a healthy life, get out of the house

mother_son_movingA vacation can be good for renewing the mind and spirit, but there are physical health benefits as well. The Framingham Heart Study found that women age 45 to 64 who vacationed at least twice a year had a significantly lower risk of heart disease than women who hardly ever took a vacation. Another study found that regular vacations also reduced the risk of death from heart disease in men. Here are some reasons why it’s good to get on the road every once in a while.Continue reading

Keep active for a healthier retirement

seniorsinparkRegular exercise is beneficial for most everyone at any age. When you’re young, exercise helps set a foundation of basic health and creates a good habit of physical activity that carries with you for a lifetime. When you’re older, you might engage in different types of activities, but the benefits are still the same. Continue reading

Retirement plans that may not pan out

goldwatchMultiple surveys show that too many Americans have not saved enough for the retirement lifestyle they envision. Most people recognize that their employers will not provide pensions, so they’re largely on their own for retirement savings.

But a lot of people still have assumptions about retirement planning that may not be realistic. The sooner you realize that these assumptions may not be feasible, the sooner you can adjust your retirement planning in time to have a comfortable retirement.Continue reading

How to go broke on $200 million

iversonBeing rich or poor can often have little to do with how much money you make, and more to do with how well you manage what you have. Just consider the case of Allen Iverson. The retired pro basketball star, who earned over $200 million during his 15-season playing career, was reportedly broke and heavily in debt in the final years of his career. During his 2012 divorce proceedings, he shouted to his estranged wife, Tawanna, “I don’t even have money for a cheeseburger!” She handed him $61.

Iverson is certainly not alone. Reports are that 60% of NBA players are broke within five years after retirement from playing. Their stories hold lessons for all of us.Continue reading

Want to live comfortably in retirement? Eliminate debt

cutcreditcardsAn often-repeated rule of thumb is that you’ll need 80 percent of your pre-retirement income after retirement. This rule assumes that some of your expenses will decrease, such as commuting costs to and from work, wardrobe expenses, and, of course, contributions to retirement accounts. But the unstated assumption is that your other expenses will stay the same.

What if they didn’t? Your utility bills will probably not change much, and there’s little you can do to reduce those. Your cell phone, cable, and food expenditures may remain the same too – that’s the idea behind living comfortably in retirement.Continue reading

Prescription savings you (may) have overlooked

pillsWhen it comes to medication, your insurance always gives the best deal, right? Not necessarily. Many people don’t realize that Walmart, Target, CVS, and other national pharmacy chains offer prescription drug discount plans that may provide some savings.

Although these plans have nominal annual fees, often it’s possible to more than recoup that on prescription drug savings, as well as savings on other services such as flu shots. Continue reading

Take the back door into a Roth IRA

investing2If you’re a high-salary-earner and are looking for ways to put away a sizeable portion of your income for retirement, traditionally your options have been limited. Employer-sponsored retirement accounts like 401(k)s and individual accounts like IRAs have contribution limits that cap how much you can put in each year. For example, Roth IRAs have a limit of $6,500 per year for those age 50 and over. And if you make over a certain limit ($131,000 for singles in 2015) you can’t open a Roth IRA at all.

But under recent IRS rules, you have a potential way around that. Some are calling it the mega-backdoor Roth because it allows you to sock away larger amounts into your Roth IRA, if you qualify.

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Four retirement myths you (might) think are true

retirement2For many people, retirement involves a plunge into an unknown realm for which they are not sufficiently prepared. Like every life transition, retirement goes much more smoothly with proper planning. Here are four misconceptions that many people have about retirement.

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Is your body on a “slow simmer”?

humanbodyInflammation is part of the body’s response to foreign invaders, such as bacteria, viruses, and allergens. It’s also caused by irritants like pollen, dust, and damaged tissues. Inflammation is triggered when certain hormones in your body call for your white blood cells to come and clear out infections and damaged cells. When the threat has passed, the inflammation recedes and the body heals.

Often, however, inflammation turns on and never fully turns off, instead becoming systemic and chronic. Inflammation is a widespread problem in the U.S. Many of us are walking around on a “slow simmer”, as Nurse Practitioner Marcelle Pick says.

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How a government pension may reduce your Social Security benefits

cointowersThe Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) is a little-known rule that reduces your Social Security retirement benefits if you receive a pension from a past job in which you were not required to pay Social Security taxes. It’s little-known because it applies only to a small segment of retirees. Mostly it applies to former state and local government employees, like police officers, firefighters, teachers, and workers at state and local governments and nonprofit organizations that are not part of the federal Social Security system.Continue reading

Survey says: you may not need as much retirement income

moneyinhandFor people close to retirement who are feeling anxious about having sufficient funds, there’s some good news. A survey by T. Rowe Price of new retirees found that most are doing well, both financially and emotionally, and that retirees are less anxious than those who are approaching retirement. The survey also indicated that the retirees, who had been retired for one to five years, weren’t spending as much as they had expected, but were satisfied with their retired lives nevertheless.Continue reading

The four percent rule, revised

percentThe venerated four-percent rule states that retirees can safely withdraw four percent of their retirement savings per year without running out of money in retirement. For example, if a retiree has $1 million in a retirement account, they can take out $40,000 the first year, and annually adjust that figure for inflation.Continue reading

Get paid to travel

airportsignEven after retirement, many people are looking to stay employed part-time. Some retirees look at part-time employment as a way to stay occupied, others as a way to supplement their retirement income, and still others as a way to remain productive and contribute. But finding meaningful and fulfilling part-time employment can be difficult for seniors.

How about getting paid to travel? Many people list that as their #1 dream job – but that’s what it is, just a dream, right? In this video, Wealthy Retirement’s investment advisor Steve McDonald interviews a lady who has been getting paid to travel for a quarter-century. She tells Steve how she got started in the travel industry (she runs a travel agency) and gives some tips for how other retirees can get started, even if they come from other backgrounds.

Click here to watch the interview or see a written transcript.

Looking for a good place to retire? Try Zillow’s interactive map

usmapAre you looking to move when you retire? Many people are looking for a change of scenery to begin their golden years. Moving to a place with lower taxes or cost of living, better weather, or better access to retiree activities … the reasons to move are endless.

Where’s the best destination to retire? Well, of course that depends on what’s important to you. To help you decide, Zillow, the online real estate information company, has dipped into its extensive nationwide database to display the most attractive neighborhoods based on several criteria. You can choose which factors are important to you – crime, weather, reasonable home values, access to healthcare. The map gives you some ideas to consider when you start picking your next place to plant roots.Continue reading