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Who, What, Where & How

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The Who, What, Where and How of Retirement Living

Retirement living is complex. Planning for who you want to be, what you want and you can afford, where you want to be, and how it will occur are critical issues that must be given time to think through.

Many factors affect people's retirement decisions. Utilize this easy-to-use retirement checklist where you can easily track your progress and add new items to your account.

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Social Security

Social Security clearly plays an important role. The current age to receive social security is 66-67, but you could draw early at a lower rate. Use the following web site to determine benefits - www.socialsecurity.gov

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Financial Wealth

Pensions certainly play an important role. Greater financial wealth from all sources tends to lead to earlier retirement, since wealthier individuals can essentially "purchase" additional leisure. Use the following calculator (an example of many available) to help with your planning - finance.yahoo.com/calculator/retirement/ret02

You can also use the Social Security Online retirement planner.

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The Financial Crisis

The financial crisis is affecting retirement decisions. Those that were not affected by the stock market decline are not likely to delay their retirement, but those that were will continue to work since their savings have been depleted. However, recent research estimates that mass layoffs are likely to lead to an increase in retirement almost 50% larger than the decrease brought about by the stock market crash. Many boomers at 62 who are layed off and/or fear that the current political climate of privatizing or stripping social security will "retire" early and collect their social security.

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Health Status

Health status has a major impact on retirement. It is widely found that individuals in poor health generally retire earlier than those in better health. In general, declining health over time, as well as the onset of new health conditions, have been found to be directly related to earlier retirement.

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Spouse's Employment Status

For those who are married, a spouse's employment status may affect one's decision to retire. On average, husbands are three years older than their wives in the U.S., and spouses often coordinate their retirement decisions. Thus, men are more likely to retire if their wives are also retired than if they are still in the labor force, and vice versa.

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Cost of Health Care

The cost of health care in retirement is a significant issue, because people tend to be ill more frequently in later life. Many people retire before they become eligible for Medicare at age 65 and, even with Medicare, chronic long-term illnesses are not covered and become a financial burden to us.

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Cost of Living

On a personal level, the rising cost of living during retirement is also a serious concern to many older adults.

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Retirement Action Checklist

List what retirement/transitioning is to you and important considerations:

  • Who do you want to be?
  • What do you want?
  • What can you afford?
  • Where do you want to be?
  • When will it occur?
  • How will it occur?
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