BOSTON (CBS) – We have come to the final book in the series, Your Money Life: Your 60s. For most folks your goal by age 60 is to have a comfortable retirement. Now you need to figure out when to retire which is a really big decision. At times I think I have a handle on it and at other times I want to work forever.

Traditionally, our sixtieth decade has been seen as the decade of retirement. But whether or not you’re ready to retire in your sixties, these years will be filled with important financial decisions to be made. Among other things, you’ll need to learn your way around Medicare and Social Security, and you’ll decide how much money to take out of your retirement plan on an annual basis.

When that 60th birthday happens be prepared for the hard stuff. You could, if you are healthy and lucky, live another 30 to even 40 years. It’s hardcore now. And 60 is not the new 50. It is 60! The decisions before you are monumental.

  • At what age should you retire? Your spouse?
  • When should you start receiving Social Security benefits? Your spouse?
  • At what age should you start your pension if you have one? Your spouse?
  • What survivor options should you select for your pension?
  • What should you be invested in?

 

That is just the beginning. As for goals if you are planning to work beyond 65 it may be because you have to. The goals in your 60s will then look like the goals of your 50s:

  • Make maximum contributions to your company sponsored retirement plan
  • Consider purchasing Long Term Care Insurance (I don’t know if you need it)
  • Hire a financial planner (Look for a CFP)
  • Make a plan to be debt free (both mortgage and credit card) before retirement
  • Complete a comprehensive estate plan with an estate planning attorney
  • Project what your retirement income will be and practice living on that now
  • Create a thorough retirement plan in terms of how you will spend your time in retirement. It’s not a 1,000 week vacation, it’s a significant period in your life.
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