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Start Early: Retirement Planning Basics

Aug 17, 2007
Even if retirement is in the future, you should start planning as early as possible. In fact living well in retirement depends a lot on how you will plan it early on. Of course you can always rely on you Social Security or company retirement plan, but let's face it this will not be enough to have enough after you retire.

The first thing to check when planning your retirement is how much you will need after you retire. The income you will need depends not only on your basic expenses such as food, clothing, utilities, etc but on your health or any loans that you will have. If you are still repaying your mortgage the number should be bigger. If your health is not that perfect and you need to receive medical treatment often, than you should think about this as well. Generally speaking 70% of your current yearly income should be enough to live well after you quit working.

When you set this number you should start thinking of ways to achieve it. There are three main sources of retirement income pensions, social security and your savings. The easiest two are your pension and the social security incomes that you will receive as you can check well in advance how much these will be. You can ask for a statement or use online calculator. It may happen that these incomes will be enough and you do not need to worry much. However it is wiser to think about your saving as well. Consult a specialist and invest your money. You can invest in stocks, mutual funds, bonds, etc. Even if you are not able to invest a lot, do it as you will receive regular incomes after you retire. A common mistake that many people make is that they just try to save a lot of money. Not only that you will never be able to save that much (except you win the lottery of course) but pilled money will be spent quickly.

Finally, think of a home business or any other business that you can run after retirement. The fact that you are no longer working in an office doesn't mean you are useless and incapable to do anything. In fact it's the best time to try something new. You can turn your hobby into a small business or start something fresh. Not only you will be occupied during most of your time but you will have another source of income that will allow you better life standard.
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