BOSTON (CBS) – Money plays a very big role in retirement planning. Will you have enough?
I talked earlier in the week about how you are going to spend your time. How much money you have plays a big part in what you can do in retirement. The more money, the more options.
Most retirees can get by on 80% of their pre-retirement income. Most. If you are planning to do lots of traveling or plan to retire early before your Medicare age of 65 you will need more income. Health insurance is expensive.
Spend the time to figure out what exactly your income will be in retirement. Social Security is easy. They no longer send you a benefits statement but you can get on line and easily figure it out. What other source of income will you have? Pensions? Did you work for a company for more than five years? You may be eligible for a pension.
Then take the time to figure out how much you will need to supplement your income with your retirement savings.
Consolidate your IRAs and retirement plans so that all of your dollars are in one place. Keeps bookkeeping at a minimum and it so much simpler having one account instead of six.
What is your investment strategy as you go into retirement? Stocks may still need to be part of your portfolio. Certainly bonds, CDs and money markets will have a bigger role but you still need some stocks for long term growth.
Have enough supplemental income set aside for 5 years. That way you can ride the ups and downs of the stock market and not have to sell any of your mutual funds or stocks at a loss to supplement your income.
Do you have an emergency fund? Prudent to go into retirement with some cash available. There are many unknowns in retirement. Unchartered waters!
Your home may be your largest asset. Do you sell it and downsize and use the dollars to buy something smaller and invest the rest? If you are planning on staying where you are, try to go into retirement debt free; no mortgage payments. When asked many Boomers (50%) thought they would move in retirement.
Credit cards are a problem for retirees. According to EBRI (Employee Benefit Research Institute) more than 60% of households of the 55 plus generation increased their debt level and the biggest jump was among those over 75. Many are using their credit card to supplement income. Try to pay off that credit card in full each month.
And if push comes to shove consider getting a part time job. The extra income can make a big difference.