Retirement Planning – Why and When?

When researching and discussing retirement planning and options, I get these questions frequently. Despite the constant news coverage of impending doom, many, if not most Americans are still depending on their social security payments to support them through their retirement. The sad fact is that it simply isn’t possible. It is doubtful that Social Security by itself would be enough to get the average American through their twilight years. Americans are living longer and longer, and we are leading more active lives. Retirement has a new meaning today! Gone are the days when retirees sat at home reading newspapers and playing cards every other afternoon. Today’s retirees are traveling, taking classes, learning to dance, and trying new things that they were not able to experience while setting aside funds for the future and going about the business of raising their own families. Now they are taking the time to do all these great things, but these great activities and pastimes require funds in order to enjoy.This is the number one reason you should begin as early as possible to set aside funds for your retirement, but make active plans to invest those funds to maximize the potential of limited funds. You, and only you, can decide on your desired retirement lifestyle. Once you have that well in mind, you should take your plans, goals, and concerns, to a financial planner and seek their advice on setting specific goals; better defining your plans, and making the most of your investment means. You also will need to establish a realistic investment strategy that will not leave you feeling strapped for cash month after month.The important role that a good financial planner and good planning play in our financial futures cannot be overlooked. We need to take advantage of every opportunity to maximize our money. A good financial advisor will know of funds and strategies that we have never heard of. It makes sense to go to an expert when it concerns our family’s future. We see experts when it comes to matters of law, health, and taxes-why on earth shouldn’t we see an expert for our finances? Just be certain that you hire a “Fee paid” financial planner who derives his or her income from the advice they give you rather than any commissions or fees that are related to your investments. You want to make sure that your planner is your friend and not trying to live off of investment recommendations that he/she makes to you. You earned the money and deserve all of the benefits and earnings from its investment.Why is it so important to have a plan? This is so that you won’t end up needing a job in order to put food on your table once you’ve reached retirement age. A recent U. S. Census Bureau survey reported that nearly 65 % of Americans reaching age 62 this year will have less than $25,000 in net assets. That will hardly support a decent retirement lifestyle. The sad truth is that many of our retired citizens are finding themselves strapped for cash financially and barely able to make ends meet. If they are fortunate enough to have homes that are paid for, they often find the property taxes, medical bills, the higher cost of living, etc. are putting so much pressure on retirement budgets that many are having a rough time without some sort of assistance. All of the unprecedented price increases over the last two decades coupled with our improved longevity give us some very real reasons to make plans for your future retirement. It is best to begin making these plans as early as possible. If you begin the process a little later, however, it is not impossible to recover. The problem is that you will need to make some extra investments along the way or build some supplemental retirement income just to make up for lost time. The sooner you begin making plans for your financial retirement, the healthier your retirement options will be. The best way to go about this is to define your retirement goals early on, make written plans, and then take them to a financial advisor and get his or her input. Investing smarter is much wiser than investing harder. With the advent of the Internet in our society, there are many new opportunities to earn some extra income to accelerate your retirement savings or to supplement your retirement income once you have retired. Do not overlook these opportunities as they not only provide  some needed income without having to leave you retirement nest, but they also provide some fun, exciting and rewarding activities for your retirement years. Don Seibert is a retired business executive who, as an Expert Author, writes timely articles on many issues concerning sources of retirement income. Having retired three times, he now is the host of http://www.RetireToEasyStreet.com Visit the site for a complete discussion of Retirement Planning and Retirement Income Options

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