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Your 5-Year Retirement Plan — Is it Ready?

by Jeremy Holcombe

With the major economic downfall that hit us back in 2008, many people have had to drastically change their retirement plans. Millions lost all, or almost all, of their retirement savings, and had to keep working and to push back their retirement.

There are now plans in place to help with your retirement, some of which may be a bit risky — but if you have already lost everything, it may be in your best interest to put one of these plans in place.

There are two-, three-, four-, and five-year retirement plans available. The plan you choose to go with will depend on your stage of life, and how you sit financially since 2008. Lets take a minute to focus on the five-year retirement plan.

Five-Year Retirement Plan

Retirement Lifestyle Choices: Your first step is to take an inventory, call it a checklist if you want, of the lifestyle you want when you retire. What choices do you want to make, how much is needed, how much is “plenty,” and how much is “not yet enough?”  After you make this checklist, review it so you have a better understanding of the type of retirement you want, and what it will take to accomplish it.

Checking Finances: Will you have enough to retire on if you implement this five-year retirement plan? This is the most important question, one that needs to be answered before starting the plan. To properly answer this question you need to consider doing the following:

  • Estimate your retirement spending needs. Include any applicable taxes and insurance premiums.
  • Consider long-term care insurance prices. The sooner you purchase, the lower the premiums will be.
  • Hire a financial adviser. There are a number of very low-cost services available. Many are even free.
  • If you are above the age of 50, take full advantage of the additional $1,000 annually to individual retirement accounts and $5,500 annually to 401(k) accounts.
  • Will you or will you not need life insurance? This is something to consider.

Estate Planning: You may not think this affects you right away, but it does have a bearing on the overall plan. It is important that you have a will in place, appoint a power of attorney, get all your health care directives in place, and have an estate plan. Your financial adviser can direct you in all this, but make sure all of it is in place before the plan begins.

While 2008 took its toll on a lot of individuals and families, a satisfying and achievable retirement can still be had. Take advantage of some of the resources and plans available to you, and put your five-year retirement plan into place.

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