Some people simply do nothing about retirement

The 2010 Retirement Confidence Survey (conducted
by the Employee Benefit Research Institute) indicates that 27% of Americans
have less than $1,000 in savings for retirement, and that only 46% of workers
have tried to calculate how much money they will need to have saved for
retirement. While fear of retirement can motivate some people to take control
of their finances and retirement planning, it can create a
deer-in-the-headlights reaction in others; that is, some people simply do
nothing about retirement.

While it is certainly to one's benefit to plan
early for retirement, it's never too late to stop staring at the headlights and
start planning. Every bit of savings can help secure a more enjoyable
retirement. Here are 10 things you should know before you retire.

  1. Your Retirement Expenses
    Determine how much money you will need, each year, to live comfortably
    during your retirement years, the rule of thumb is living on 70-80% of
    their current annual income.
  2. Where Your Income Will Come From
    Strategize on how to meet these goals. Social Security,
    Employer-sponsored retirement plans, IRAs, annuities and dividends all
    provide retirement income.
  3. Personal Goals for Retirement
    After long careers of working hard, with limited free time, many
    people mistakenly assume that they will be satisfied doing nothing. This can
    be a set-up for disaster, not to mention a stressor on spousal relationships.
    Make plans for travel, learning, hobbies or volunteering.
  4. Plans for Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle
    Retirement is more productive, fulfilling and enjoyable if a healthy
    lifestyle is emphasized. Eating well, exercising and staying hydrated are
    important to your mental and physical health.
  5. How Much Insurance will You Carry
    Certain policies will probably remain unchanged, automobile and homeowner's
    insurance policies. However, life and health insurance needs, due to
    Medicare, may change.
  6. When to Apply for Social Security Benefits
    Many people have no other source of income. Although, Social Security
    typically does not provide enough income to live comfortably, the benefits
    can be maximized with planning. Your monthly check depends on when you
    start receiving benefits.
  7. What Medicare Covers
    Medicare provides limited health insurance to people who are 65 or older.
    Medicare benefits vary, and certain Parts require a monthly premium payment.
    Information regarding Medicare, including when and how to apply, can be
    found at
  8. What Happens with Your Estate
    Estate and Asset Protection planning is complicated and subject to
    changing laws. You can minimize estate taxes, avoid probate and protect
    you assets and ensure that your wishes are carried out. Reviewing /
    Creating wills, trusts, Financial Power of Attorney and Medical Power of
    Attorneys and advanced directives  are important steps in estate planning.
  9. How You will Care for Aging Parents
    Many soon-to-be retirees must also plan for the care of aging parents.
    In some cases, the parents will not have saved or planned for long-term
    care and the adult children will need to cover the expenses. These
    additional costs can be a part of retirement expenses and need to be factored
    when determining monthly requirements.
  10. Know Your Budget
    Creating a realistic budget – and sticking to it – can greatly
    increase the enjoyment, and relieve the stress, of retirement.

The Bottom Line
Procrastination is the number one enemy of
retirement – not taking the time to plan ahead. Tackling these 10 important
considerations can help ease the transition into a successful and enjoyable

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