BOSTON (CBS) – The more money you have the more options you will have in retirement.
Most retirees can get by on 80% or less 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. Check online for your Social Security benefit. What other source of income will you have? Pensions? IRAs, 401(k)s? Annuities?
Consolidate your IRAs and retirement plans so that all of your dollars are in one place. This will keep bookkeeping at a minimum.
Now for the hard part. You will need to figure out your budget for retirement. What is it going to cost you to maintain your current lifestyle? Then figure out how much you will need to supplement your income with your retirement savings. After doing this you may find you need to work a few more years.
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. Uncharted 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, no school loans.