WOMEN BABY BOOMERS PREPARE FOR RETIREMENT
Women are healthier, engage in more active lifestyles and are living much longer. Their retirement period could be as much as 20 years longer which creates both opportunities and challenges. Many women will spend as much time in retirement as they did in the workforce.
Some women were not in the workforce as long as their male counterparts which affects their savings for retirement. Companies that provide a monthly pension are no longer the norm. Many retirees will need to rely on their 401K, IRA, and personal assets accumulated during their working years. Whether you have 5 or 25 years until retirement if your company offers a 401k take advantage of it. Many companies offer a match or contribute a portion to your 401k on your behalf. If you qualify for an IRA strive to deposit the maximum each year.
If you have additional discretionary income to target toward retirement, consider making deposits to a non-retirement account. This creates an emergency fund which could be used before retirement if needed.
Eliminating debt before you reach retirement will help you have more discretionary income to live on. Make it a priority to pay off your credit cards in full each month, make additional payments on your mortgage and avoid home equity loans unless it’s an emergency.
More baby boomers are working part time in retirement either out of need or boredom. Many find they miss the day-to-day feeling of accomplishment that working can bring. Others found the cost of retirement was more than anticipated and need a part time job to make ends meet. Regardless of the reason, a part time job may offer an opportunity to try something different from your prior career – something new, interesting and rewarding.
Research early how to best apply for social security, typically three months before the time comes. Those born before 1937 can collect full benefits at age 65. Full benefits gradually increase to age 66 for those born between 1943 and 1954. After that, an older retirement age is phased in. To receive the maximum benefit, waiting to age 70 might be advisable. If you are a widow or can collect on a spouse’s social security, you need to know the rules. A beneficial tool to use is the Retirement Estimator. Visit www.SSA.gov/estimator for more information.
A few other tips ….In every woman’s life there comes a time to downsize. Get rid of the clutter and simplify your life. Invest in your health by exercising. When you eat out, order healthy choices, learn to cook Mediterranean diet meals. Not only will you feel better, you can potentially cut down on your medical expenses.
Have your affairs in order by documenting. Know where your investments are and how they are managed and diversified. Keep a log of all you own and are responsible for. Have your legal documents up-to-date, for example, your will, trust, healthcare surrogate and power of attorney. Give much thought to who you choose to make these important legal decisions for you. Document your insurance policies and when your premiums are due including life insurance, auto, health, home, long term care, disability, etc. Review your beneficiary designations periodically for changes.
Know how much you save and how much you spend each year and what you pay in taxes. Document your passwords, where your safe deposit box is and other important information to share with the person you trust if you become ill or incapacitated.
The knowledge, experience and support of a financial professional can help you put your affairs in order and to monitor the process annually. If their credentials are similar, choose the professional you feel you can communicate openly with. Ongoing communication is what makes any relationship work.
By taking time to empower yourself now, you will feel more self-assured and optimistic about your future.
Lynn A. Ferraina
Ciccarelli Advisory Services, Inc. is located at 9601
Tamiami Trail North, Naples, FL (239.262.6577)
Investment advisory services offered through Ciccarelli Advisory Services, Inc., a registered investment adviser independent of FSC Securities Corporation. Securities and additional investment advisory services offered through FSC Securities Corporation, member FINRA/SIPC and a registered investment adviser.