10/18/2017


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Examine Your Nest Eggs

There are some very important questions about your retirement that must be answered currectly if you want to retire with long term peace of mind.

Most boomers are concerned about their retirement, given the present state of Social Security. Plus, many company pension plans, as well as personal investments, are subject to a volatile market, which renders retirement income uncertain and unpredictable. Since baby boomers are retiring earlier and living longer, many are unsure whether their nest eggs will be sufficient to see them through to the end. To determine this to one's best ability, there are important questions that must be answered, such as:

  1. What is your current net worth?
  2. How much do you presently have in savings and investments earmarked for retirement? How much do you think you'll have by the time you stop working?
  3. How is this money taxed?
  4. How much annual income will you need to retire in the manner you realistically expect to?
  5. How much of your annual income do you expect to be provided by Social Security and pension benefits?
  6. How much do you plan on inheriting?
  7. How many years are there before you plan to retire without working/
  8. Approximately how many years do you anticipate spending in retirement?
  9. Do you have a Long-Term Care insurance policy?
  10. How many years will your Long-Term Care policy pay, and how much will it pay per month?
  11. Do you have adequate medical insurance coverage, or will you depend solely on Medicare?
  12. Do you have prescription drug coverage that will pick up where Medicare Part D leaves off?
  13. How much life insurance do you currently have?
  14. How will your spouse be provided for in the event you die first and the two of you have depended on each other's retirement income?
  15. Have you planned your estate so as to avoid unnecessary taxes and probate?

Now that you've closely examined your nest, let's consider ways your own eggs might be protected from cracking and hopefully grow sufficiently to sustain you throughout your retirement years. Unless your nest eggs are growing and multiplying, you may outlive them and become a financial burden on your family, or at best not be able to enjoy your golden years as you had hoped to.

Federal and state taxes play a huge role in whether your retirement eggs expand or shrivel to nothing. Unfortunately, taxes paid on interest income are often viewed as normal rather than as the all too real fox in the hen house stealing as many eggs as possible. In fact, many people think fees and commissions are the number one cost consideration for investments, when in reality taxes far exceed even the highest fees. Most folks also believe taxes will only increase. Unfortunately, that is probably the best bet.

There are many other factors that shrink your nest egg. It is quite common for Medicare and other insurance co-pays for doctor visits and prescription medications to easily run at $400.00 a month ($4,800 a year) after the deductibles are met.

It is vitally important individuals take time to carefully plan their investments so they are not putting their investment savings at risk or paying unnecessary or premature taxes. In attempts to avoid probate, some people choose to put their adult child's or children's name(s) on their accounts(s). They presume since their estate will be left to their child or children, they can avoid unnecessary expenses. Sometimes even careless attorney's suggest doing this. However, this in not a good idea. By doing so, you set yourself up for possible liquidation of your assets.

For more information about developing a viable strategy for your retirement years, read and enjoy
Baby Boomers--Sandwiched Between Retirement and Caregiving by Sandra W. Haymon, Ph.D.

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