There are a lot of things that you need to know about retirement but here are 25 of them:
1) Most people retire between the ages of 62 and 65. If you do you’ll get permanently penalized by Social Security for the rest of your life. If you can stay working to at least full retirement age you’ll increase your retirement income proportionately.
2) Have sufficient amount in savings for your retirement in addition to your Social Security and Pension income. Don’t risk running out of money at an age when you can’t just go back to work. Consider the effect of inflation. A mere 3% inflation rate could reduce your real income by more than 25% in ten years.
3) Health care costs constantly go up. Many retirees say they didn’t realize that it’ll cost them a lot more than they anticipated.
4) Because they live longer, women generally need a bigger nest egg for retirement than men.
5) Don’t under estimate the amount of money you need in saving. It should be greater than your pre-retirement income to avoid risk of market fluctuations and inflation.
6) Save consistently over your working years starting with your first paycheck. Don’t put your kid’s college savings ahead of your retirement savings.
7) When you save in a retirement plan you get a tax deduction in the year of contribution however you’ll pay taxes when you take the money out in retirement. Maximize Roth IRA contributions first.
8) If you’re in a low income bracket you may get a tax credit of up to $1,000 if you save in a retirement plan.
9) If you’re self-employed or run a side business, consider saving for retirement with a solo 401(k) plan. There are more pretax savings that you’ll be able to do.
10) Saving in a Roth IRA allows you to withdraw money tax free in retirement if your Roth IRA account has been established for 5 years or more and you’re 59 and 1/2 years old.
11) Take advantage of the “catch-up contributions” after age 50.
12) Large % of company stock in your retirement account can come to hurt you if the market where to fall and the sock takes a hit. The saying “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” makes a lot of sense.
13) Saving for college or your retirement? Save for retirement first and college for your kids/grandkids second.
14) Encourage your working kids to set up retirement accounts. Roth IRAs make a lot of sense for young people.
15) Maximize your 401k to get advantage of employer match and ensure that you diversify your investments.
16) Don’t fall for investment scams. Everyone wants to get rich quick but likely hood is that more people get hurt faster than getting richer faster by buying into some investment scheme. The older you are the longer it will take to recover from something like this, if you recover at all.
17) Pay cash rather than paying with a credit card is a good practice. Vast majority of credit cards charge rates between 10-20%.
18) Don’t underestimate health care costs. It is a lot more expensive than you would imagine. Also plan for nursing home care a lot earlier than just before you are about to enter into one.
19) Don’t let your spouse be in charge of your finances. Participate as little or as much just to be aware of what is going on. You don’t want to be surprised or left out in despair.
20) Don’t underestimate your longevity. Make sure you have enough savings to last you longer than you think you’ll live. Getting a job at 90 may not be something you’d be interested in doing.
21) Try to maximize your Social security benefits by at least waiting until full retirement age. Don’t delay more than age 70 as there is no increase past that age. Don’t forget the maximum income per year rule if you start social security prior to your full retirement age.
22) Don’t blindly take a Reverse mortgages before talking to a professional and explore all your options.
23) You can still save past age 70 especially if you’re still working.
24) Income taxes are due at any age so make sure you have your tax returns prepared to ensure that you know if you owe taxes or not.
25) Don’t rely on your pension to provide for your full retirement needs. If laws change in the future you may find it hard to catch up.
Your retirement can be a lot more enjoyable if you take the stress out of worrying about money.