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Year end holidays make us think about the future and what it can bring. A new year. Sparkling opportunities. Exciting adventures. Perhaps retirement is on the horizon for you in 2017. More than a third of Social Security claims are at the earliest age of 62. But, it permanently reduces your monthly amount. Very few wait until the latest claiming age of 70.  So, if you’re planning to retire, there is more to think about than just your Social Security claiming age and how it is calculated.

Social Security Claiming ages

Top tips to think about if you are planning to retire soon:

  1. Did you do a discovery phase? Maybe you think you’re ready to retire, but your bank account does not agree. Retirement calculators can help you determine necessary nest egg dollars if you’re planning to retire in 2017.
  2. Have you done your homework on the rules of retirement instruments?
    All financial instruments have rules, including 401K, 403b, IRAs and Roth IRAs. Know how each one will benefit you in retirement. In addition, there are required monthly distributions (RMD) that occur when you’re 70 years old. If you must withdraw money, how does that impact your tax obligations? It’s important to have a solid retirement strategy in place before planning to retire in 2017.
  3. Do you have a sufficient cash cushion? A retirement strategy looks at short, mid and long term goals during your retirement year. It also reviews longevity and costs associated with long term care planning. Have you accounted for the amount of liquid cash you might need during all stages of retirement?
  4. Did you designate your beneficiaries? It’s an easy thing to forget to do over the years of accumulating different retirement vehicles. Make sure you designate beneficiaries if you are planning to retire in 2017. Otherwise, your family members could wind up spending months in surrogate or probate court. Assign some time to go through and explicitly name beneficiaries.
  5. Are you going into retirement debt free? An important rule of thumb is to go into retirement debt free from any student or credit card debt. If you have debt, plan to stay working until you clear the debt. In addition, learn to live debt free for a few years before planning to retire.  You don’t want to carry bad habits into your golden years. It puts your nest egg dollars at risk rather than keeping them safe.

Source:  BankRate.com “Top 10 retirement tips for 2017” By Jill Cornfield
http://www.bankrate.com/finance/retirement/tips/default.aspx

Freeman Owen, Jr -Retirement Specialist

A retirement specialist can help you if you’re planning to retire soon.  Consult with a professional and be certain the timing is right for you.  Let’s talk.

Meet me for a FREE retirement strategy consultation at my office at (866) 471-7233 | MD, VA & DC.