BOSTON (CBS) – The Over the Hill Gang. How old do you have to be before they will let you join?
To be eligible for Medicare you need to be 65. The earliest you can collect Social Security is 62 unless you are widowed. To withdraw funds from your retirement plan you must be 59½. All those numbers sound good but I propose we consider anyone a bit younger, anyone over 55, as belonging to the Over the Hill Gang.
Ten thousand people turn 55 every day. So this is not going to be an exclusive club once you make it! You are going to have lots of company!
So if you are a charter member of the Over the Hill Gang, or an almost member, you need to start planning for retirement. Number one thing on your planning list is to figure out if you have enough money to retire. Then you can figure out when you can retire. Many want an early retirement but few can really afford it for they have not saved enough.
There are some good websites out there where you can find financial calculators to help you figure out if you have enough saved for retirement or if you are saving enough for retirement. A good site, Choose to Save, has many different financial calculators on their website. Check out their BALLPARK E$TIMATE to see if you are on track. I like this calculator so much I have used it in my books.
And the large mutual fund companies have good educational retirement sections as well as calculators on their websites. Check out Fidelity and Vanguard. And of course, your retirement plan provider should have good information on their website.
If you can you want to start retirement debt free. So you need to plan to have the mortgage, the school loans, your daughter’s wedding paid off before the retirement years begin.