Lifestyles Posts

  • What the Fieldings can teach us about retirement planning


    Many movies are popular because audiences find the characters and the situations they are in to be so relatable. The Money Pit is one such movie. Although most of us will never find ourselves in a predicament like that, the movie can teach us some lessons about effective retirement planning.

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  • How to Use Life Insurance for Retirement : Life Insurance & More
  • Planning your leisure in retirement

    Many workers who are approaching retirement look forward to a time of extended leisure and not working. Retirement is sometimes described as “being on vacation all the time”. But the reality is often different. While you’re working, weekends and vacation are typically times to relax, unwind, travel, and take care of those tasks that you don’t have time for during the workweek.

    In contrast, for the majority of retirees, retirement is a time to explore new interests and activities, and create a new identity that is based on how they spend their time instead of what occupation they hold. As more people enter retirement in the U.S. over the coming decades, this has significant implications not only for retirees but also for society as a whole.

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  • 7 things to do if you stay in your home after retirement


    Many seniors choose to stay in their homes for years after retirement. Living at home provides the comfort of familiar surroundings and enables seniors to maintain independence and control over their lives. But there are some risks associated with living at home. A few simple safeguards can help seniors protect themselves.

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  • Choices you make that will affect your entire retirement


    The decisions you make just before and after retirement can affect the quality of life throughout your retirement. While there’s plenty of flexibility in retirement planning, it’s important to get these some major things right. Yet lots of retirees take the wrong course, for various reasons. Some of these are choices made with the best of intentions that turn out to have disastrous consequences. Some are just made out of lack of planning, or making decisions in haste, or simply habit. Here are some common mistakes made when retirement is coming close.

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  • Lessons from retirees: the 2016 TIAA Voices of Experience survey



    The Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA) recently issued its 2016 Voices of Experience survey report. For the survey, TIAA reviewed responses from over 1,500 retirees, the majority of whom (55 percent) had worked in higher education. A small percentage had also worked in public education or health care. Three-fourths of survey respondents had earned a college degree, and more than half (60 percent) held a masters degree or higher.

    Although the results may not be representative of retirees as a whole, the results are consistent with survey responses of other groups and offer useful lessons and insights for retirees and pre-retirees of all ages.

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


    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.

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


    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.

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  • 3 ways men and women view retirement differently


    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.

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  • For a happy retirement, begin planning now


    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.

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  • 5 tips to smoothing the retirement transition


    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.

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  • How to prepare for a longer retirement than you might think


    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.

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  • 5 home renovations for aging in place


    In retirement, housing options are many and varied. The choices include downsizing to a smaller home or another part of country; moving overseas; assisted living facilities; a retirement village or cohousing; and home sharing.

    Many retirees are choosing to remain in their own homes. This means home renovation has become a big business. If you are looking to stay in your home through retirement, or expecting a parent or relative to move in, here are some renovations to consider.

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  • Getting into the retirement habit


    Over the years, you’ve developed dozens of habits, whether you’re aware of them or not. The weekly flow of going to bed, getting up in the morning, driving to work, and coming back home, form a familiar routine. This routine becomes a lifestyle that you’ve grown accustomed to and comfortable with.

    When you retire, these habits and this lifestyle instantly disappear. For many people it’s disconcerting, to say the least. Here are some ways to adapt.

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  • 8 things you could sell for cash (while decluttering your home)


    After several decades of working and maybe a couple of decades raising kids, you probably have a lot of extra stuff. Many people have a lot of extra items around their home. Clothes you never wear, old electronics that have replaced by newer models, unused furniture, books you’re never going to read again, decorations, children’s toys, and more.

    Why not unload some of this extra stuff? Besides decluttering your home, ridding yourself of unused stuff can help bring in extra cash. So there’s a double benefit.

    There are many items around your home that you may be able to sell.

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  • 7 habits of highly effective retirees


    We’ve often been told that effective people cultivate and practice effective habits. That while everyone’s situation is different, certain consistent patterns of behavior increase one’s chances of success. This applies to individuals, families, and companies; hence we have the seven habits of highly effective people, teens, families, and entrepreneurs.

    The same holds true of retirement. Although everyone’s retirement is different, there are some habits that retirees can cultivate to increase the odds that their golden years will be many and fulfilling. Below we propose seven habits of highly effective retirees.

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  • Taking retirement for a test drive


    Many people approach retirement with a feeling of uncertainty. Uncertainty that they have enough savings. Uncertainty about what they’ll do with their time. Uncertainty that they can deal with the loss of regular social interaction and sense of purpose they get from work. Uncertainty, in general, that retirement is right for them at this time.

    If that describes you, then maybe a retirement ‘test drive’ might work. This increasingly popular arrangement is called phased retirement, in which employers reduce the working hours and provide partial retirement benefits to some of their older workers for a period of time. This is often a win-win: it gives workers a preview of their retirement and allows them to continue bringing in income, and it allows employers to keep their more experienced workers for a bit longer at reduced cost to mentor younger workers.

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  • 4 nontraditional senior housing options


    Many Americans favor nontraditional living arrangements nowadays, and retirees are no exception. Traditionally, seniors have moved to be with or near grown children or relatives, transferred to retirement facilities, or simply remained in their homes.

    Most retirees continue to have these arrangements, but an increasing number are looking for creative ways to live their retirement lifestyles. As retirees live longer and stay active for years or decades after retirement, these arrangements are enabling seniors to meet their needs for social interaction and support while also enjoying their independence.

    Here are some popular nontraditional living arrangements for retirees.

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  • Avoid these 7 common retirement planning mistakes


    Once you’re near retirement, you’re on the home stretch and the finish line is in sight. But while for many people this is a time to relax and pursue your favorite hobbies, it isn’t a time to ease up on your planning. On the contrary, managing your savings and your time becomes more crucial as you approach and transition into retirement. Here are some common mistakes to avoid.

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  • 7 signs you’re in the wrong retirement location


    After retirement, many people think longingly about pulling up stakes and moving out of state, or even out of country. Saving costs by moving to a less expensive location is certainly a factor, but a new experience, new challenges, and just a change of lifestyle and environment are also motivations. But how do you pick a retirement location? And once you’re there, how do you know you’ve made the right choice? Choosing a retirement home is a personal decision, but here are some signs a place may not be the best for you.

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  • 7 reasons this isn’t your parents’ retirement


    It seems every generation has claimed not to understand the generation that comes after it. Certainly there are marked differences between Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, and Gen Xers. When it comes to retirement, people reaching their golden years today will definitely face a different future than retirees in years past. Here are some reasons why that’s both bad and good.

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  • Buy or rent after retirement? 6 things to keep in mind


    After retirement many people think about relocating or downsizing, both to save costs and for a change of scenery. With no job to go to anymore, many look forward to ditching the snow and cold for the sun and beach. Moving to a neighborhood or state with lower taxes and living costs certainly can help your retirement dollars go farther. When you’re moving to a new home as a retiree, should you buy or rent? Increasing numbers of seniors are choosing to rent. Here are some things to factor into your decision.

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  • 6 retirement planning lessons from Bruce Lee

    bruce lee

    The legendary martial arts master, teacher, and actor has had an influence far beyond his brief life – and far beyond martial arts. Many people who have trained in martial arts or self-defense have found striking parallels between the principles of martial arts and those of other fields. In honor of the martial arts and show business pioneer, who would have turned 76 this year, here are a few things we can learn about retirement planning from Bruce Lee.

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  • 4 ways to work part-time in retirement


    If you’re approaching retirement and need a little more funds for a comfortable one, what do you do? One choice is to work part-time in retirement. Many retirees choose to work, partly for the income, and also for the opportunity to remain productive and active. A Merrill Lynch survey found nearly half of retirees either have worked or plan to work, and 72% of pre-retirees over age 50 say they would like to keep working after they retire. Fortunately, the options are more abundant today than ever before. Here are some good ones.

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  • 5 things to consider before relocating


    Ah, you’ve finally made it to retirement. A time to relax, to do what you want, go where you want, and live where you want.

    Many people who have been tied to one location because of a job or kids’ schools are thinking of relocating to another part of the country, or even a foreign country, when they retire. Certainly moving to a less expensive region can offer savings in living costs, housing, and taxes. But the decision of where to settle down in your golden years should be made thoughtfully, and include consideration of multiple factors.

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  • Planning to work in retirement? There’s something you need to know

    older worker

    Many workers plan to continue working in their retirement years. A 2015 poll by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies that two-thirds of workers age 50 or over plan to work beyond age 65 or don’t even plan to retire at all. But is working beyond retirement age a realistic plan? The numbers suggest maybe not.

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  • 5 ways loneliness and social isolation can kill you


    Loneliness and social isolation are common among seniors. As people get older, they’re more likely to live alone and have little social contact. Additionally, more older adults than before do not have children, which means no descendants to visit and provide company. But this social isolation can have severe negative effects on physical and emotional health and longevity.

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  • 3 signs you’re not ready to retire


    When thinking about preparing for retirement, many people focus exclusively on the financial aspects – making sure they’ll have enough to live on and meet their expenses. But it’s important to realize that retirement is also a major life transition, and to make it successfully requires psychological as well as financial preparation. Here are three signs you may not be mentally ready for retirement.

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  • 5 lessons learned from actual retirees


    Experience is the mother of knowledge, the saying goes. In that case, a great way to learn about retirement should be to talk with those who have already retired. Recently, New York Life surveyed 500 retired octogenarians about what they had found. The results hold interesting lessons for all of us.

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  • 5 ways to handle a surprise retirement


    Retirement often catches you by surprise. The majority of workers retire years earlier than they planned, surveys show. Health issues, caring for family members, and corporate restructuring are the top reasons that people end up leaving the workforce before they expected. Retirement can induce nervousness and stress even when you’ve planned for it. When it’s thrust upon you, it can leave you fearful, anxious, and possibly depressed. Early retirement isn’t a picnic, but with a few prudent measures it can be managed successfully. Here are some suggestions.

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  • Key to a fulfilling retirement

    senior man

    Do you want to have a satisfying and fulfilling retirement? Certainly, good health and enough money are crucial to making this happen. But equally important is what you do with yourself in retirement. A new report by Merrill Lynch shows that donating time and money in one’s later years is a major key to retirement happiness.

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  • Retirement planning with no children


    If you’re single, or a childless couple, your retirement planning is greatly simplified, right? There are no kids, so you don’t have to worry about saving for college vs. saving for retirement, leaving an inheritance, and estate taxes. Not so fast, say financial advisors and people who have looked at the numbers. Retirement planning may be more complicated for singles than it is for couples.

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  • Five retirement myths disproved by research


    Nearly half of American workers don’t link their retirement plans to how much they have saved. The majority of retirees are satisfied with their lives and find it is easier than they expected to live comfortably in retirement. These are two of the surprising findings from a large-scale survey of recent retirees and soon-to-be retirees.

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  • Six reasons not to move after retirement


    Although surveys find that a majority of people consider moving after retirement, only about 7 percent of older Americans actually move each year, according to a study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. Here are six reasons why most homeowners choose to stay put.

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  • The three phases of retirement


    It’s no secret that people are living longer than ever before. That means a retirement that once lasted just a few years, could now last 20 years or more. Your savings and income must also last that long, because you certainly don’t want to outlive your money. But the experiences of retirees indicate that costs and spending change significantly during a multi-decade retirement. People’s retirement costs typically are highest for the first few years after retirement, then tend to taper down later, and finally level off or possibly increase (because of increased healthcare and assisted living costs). Here’s a closer look at the three main phases of a typical retirement.

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  • Will you be able to work longer if you want to?

    business-timingMany workers choosing to delay retirement and keep working. In many cases this is out of necessity. Personal financial advisor Suze Orman has even recommended that people stay in their jobs until their late 60s. Employment also provides social contact, a sense of fulfillment, and the opportunity to remain productive. But recent research suggests that more positions are vulnerable to early retirement than previously thought.

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  • Are you ready for retirement? Four questions to help you decide


    Many people dream of calling it quits and starting the phase of their life called retirement. But retirees often find the reality doesn’t quite match expectations. In order to avoid unpleasant surprises, you’ll want to make sure you’re really ready for permanent retirement. Here are some questions to help you decide.

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  • Nine things to consider when choosing a retirement location


    Many retirees choose to move when they retire. Some stay in the same town and move to a smaller home, or a larger one. Some across the country to be closer to family or friends. And some move simply because a new environment better suits them. If you’re one of the footloose kind, how do you choose a place to retire? Here’s some advice.

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  • Things you must do before you retire


    Are you ready for retirement? While working forever might make the most sense financially, most people want to call it quits at some point and enjoy the things they really like to do. Here are some things you must do before you can safely leave the working world behind.

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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Retirement planning: More than dollars and cents

    retiredlifeWhen most people think about retirement planning, they focus on having sufficient savings and income to enjoy a comfortable retirement. Certainly, financial planning is a crucial part of planning for retirement – without sufficient income and savings, you may not be able to retire when you want, or have the lifestyle you envision.

    But many people overlook another important part of retirement planning: planning for the retired life. After 40-plus years in the workforce, retirement is a major adjustment and many enter this phase of their life unprepared for what awaits.

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  • Lessons from the first Baby Boomer retirees

    seniorcoupleThe Baby Boomers, typically those born between 1946 and 1964, are one of the largest population groups in U.S. history. They’ve influenced the American economy and culture for decades. Now that the first wave of them are entering retirement, what are their experiences?

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  • Five common retiree scams

    Frauds and scams aimed at retirees and seniors have become big business. Here are five common types of scams and tips for avoiding become a victim.

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  • Considering your retirement options

    Retirement, for most people, is the time to finally do what they want, on their schedule and terms, with no pressure or need to be tied to a paycheck. While many simply want to unwind and relax after a long and stressful career, others are eager to explore new horizons, pastimes, or even new careers. Here are some ideas for creating the perfect retirement.

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  • The new retirement

    The traditional model of retirement – working at the same career, even the same company, for decades and taking a gold watch at age 65 – has gone the way of the horse and buggy for many folks. It’s been replaced by a new retirement, which requires major adjustment but also presents new opportunities.

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  • The retirement expense you may not be thinking about

    dollar sign

    Although not everyone will need professional long-term care in their lifetimes, a significant portion will, and few people are thinking about it. According to Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research, 58 percent of women and 44 percent of men will need nursing home care sometime in their lives. The average duration of such care is estimated at 0.88 years for men and 1.37 years for women.

    The average cost for a nursing home in 2012 was $81,030 per year, and the average cost for home health care was $21 per hour. But only 13 percent of people buy long-term care insurance.

    Long-term care includes the necessities of daily living, such as eating, dressing, showering, and taking medications. Therefore it is not covered under most medical insurance policies or Medicare. However some health insurance policies cover minimal assistance, and Medicare Part A covers full or partial costs for up to 100 days in a skilled nursing facility following a hospital stay.

    One reason cited for why many don’t buy long-term care insurance, is that Medicaid programs cover long-term care for indigent residents. Medicaid’s programs are operated by the states and require that most of a person’s financial assets first be exhausted.

    The CRR estimates show that, although only 13 percent of people actually buy long-term care insurance, 19 percent of men and 31 percent would be willing to pay for it. Considering the relatively large percentage of people who will actually need long-term care, it’s prudent for everyone to consider how they would defray the costs should they need them. Some options are:

    1. Purchase long-term care insurance
    2. Reserve a portion of personal savings or home equity to pay the costs
    3. Live close to relatives or grown children who could take care of you
    4. Hope you stay healthy and never need it

    Regarding option #3, you also have to consider whether your relatives are able and willing to do this. Many grown children become personally and financially burdened by the cost and stress of taking care of elderly parents.

    Option #4 seems to be favored by many people. But it’s wise to make plans for contingencies, even if they’re never needed.

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  • Four things to do when preparing for retirement


    Are you planning to retire in the next few years? If so, congratulations! Get ready for a well-earned exit from the daily grind. It’s time to do what you want for a change.

    To help ensure your golden years are everything you envisioned, you need to do some basic planning. You’ve been planning your retirement for a long time; now’s not the time to let your diligent planning habits slide. Here are four things you might consider starting to take care of now.

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  • Making early retirement a reality


    Retiring early is a dream for many people in their fifties or early sixties. People want to retire early because they’d prefer to do something else than work at their jobs. Maybe they find their jobs boring, too stressful, or just unpleasant, or maybe there’s a hobby, volunteer position, or even another career they’d rather pursue instead.

    Can early retirement be more than just a dream? Here are some things to consider before you make the jump.

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