Table of Contents



Planning Your Retirement Dream ............................................................................ 2 The Age You Hope to Retire ................................................................................... 2 Figuring Your Retirement Living Costs .................................................................. 2 Saving for Your Retirement ..................................................................................... 2 Experience the Magic of Compound Interest .......................................................... 2 Your Debt Concerns for Retirement ........................................................................ 2 Getting Help and Advice from People In the Know ................................................ 2 Educating Yourself about Formalized Retirement Savings Plans ........................... 2 Summary .................................................................................................................. 2

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leave it all behind and retire in comfort. Perhaps you’ve fantasized about owning your time, moving to a warmer climate, and chasing a golf ball all morning long. To enjoy a peaceful and comfortable retirement, there are many issues to consider. Saving for your retirement, eliminating your debt, and deciding on the age to quit work are essential to a successful retirement. Estimating your costs to retire, accounting for the instability of Social Security, getting help/advice about retirement, and educating yourself about formalized retirement savings plans are important pieces to the puzzle of planning for a successful retirement.

L ike most working people, you probably dream of the day when you’re able to

Planning Your Retirement Dream
Planning for your retirement can be fun and exciting. Imagine constructing your own fantasy life. In a sense, thinking about what you want your life to be when you retire is like building your own dream. Begin your retirement planning journey by pondering locations where you might like to live. Knowing where you’ll be settling down once you retire can guide you in your quest to plan your perfect retirement. Closely associated with where you want to live is how you think you’ll be spending your time once you’re retired. Another thought-provoking point to consider is, even though you might retire, maybe you’ll want to take a part-time job in a completely new field.


Where will you be living in your retirement? The cost of living in the location of your residence largely determines what kind of life you’ll have.
‣ Think about locales you find exciting, fun, or relaxing. ‣ Perhaps you have ideas about returning to the town/city where you grew up

to be near family and friends.
‣ Those who are tired of dealing with cold weather and snow will be looking

to relocate to some place warm and sunny.
‣ Some adventurous American retirees are choosing Central American

countries such as Panama, Costa Rica, Belize, and Mexico due to a low cost of living, pleasant weather, picturesque scenery, amenities, plenty of English-speaking ex-patriot communities, excellent health care in some areas, and more.
‣ Additionally, where you decide to settle down for retirement will largely

determine the type of activities you’ll have available to you.
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1. What will you do in your retirement? Another essential consideration in planning for your retirement is evaluating the types of activities you plan.
‣ Have you dreamed of golfing three times a week?



‣ Maybe you want to spend more time with friends, see the opera, or go

dancing often.
‣ If you’ve loved mountains all your life, maybe you hope to retire where you

can see beautiful mountain vistas. Perhaps take a short hike when mood strikes you.
‣ Avid readers and lovers of intellectual pursuits might consider being close

to universities and great libraries.
‣ When you know how you want to spend your retirement, you’ll have a

clearer idea where you want to live. 2. Will you work in your retirement? Consider whether you’re interested in continuing to work, working part-time, or quitting your job without looking back.
‣ For some potential retirees, the idea of giving up their careers is

increasingly uncomfortable as they approach their golden years. 3. Maybe “restructuring” your life would be a better way to go. Restructuring involves a gradual lessening of the hours you work as opposed to completely quitting your job. Here are some possible options:
‣ At age 65, Sally didn’t want to work 40 hours weekly anymore, but she still

enjoyed working. Sally decided to step down her work hours to 75% time – 30 hours per week. After 18 months, Sally again reduced her work to 20 hours weekly for the next 3 years. At that time, Sally was ready to stop working completely.


‣ Maybe you would like to resign your position and start up your own

consulting business for a few hours a week or a month.
‣ Think creatively about how you can work a limited number of hours, if

that’s what you want to do.
‣ The key is to spend your last few years of working (or even longer)

exploring how you feel about your work, whether you want to do some work in retirement, or whether you can walk away from your job and just enjoy life. At any rate, evaluate your feelings about where you want to live, how you want to spend your time, and whether you want to continue working at some level. The closer you get to your retirement, the more insight you’ll have into what you want to do about that phase of your life. “As in all successful ventures, the foundation of a good retirement is planning.” ~ Earl Nightingale

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The Age You Hope to Retire
When would you like to retire? Depending on the age you want to stop working, be aware of special circumstances that will impact your life. Some workers will want to retire while their health is still good so they can travel and do all the activities they’ve always wanted to do without worry. Furthermore, the age you choose to retire determines your Social Security payments and the tax consequences of any retirement plan withdrawals. 1. If you hope to retire before the full retirement age of 65 (66 if born 19431954, 67 if born 1960 or later) in the U.S., consider these special circumstances.
‣ Health care costs. If your employer won’t cover your health care when you

retire, how will you pay for it? During the years before you retire, will you be able to save the extra amount monthly you’ll need to pay for health insurance? If not, you might want to delay your retirement until you’re 65 so you can receive Medicare health care coverage.
‣ Social Security compensation will not be available as a possible

“padding” for your funds if you retire before the minimum retirement age of 62. (See Figuring Your Retirement Costs section.)
‣ Another special circumstance to consider if you decide to retire before full

retirement age is that you’ll extend the number of years you’ll live without earning any money. Therefore, it will be necessary to save even more money during the years you do work.


2. If you wait until your full retirement age, 65, 66, or 67 and you’ve paid into the Social Security system for the minimum number of years, you may receive monthly Social Security payments. The following points assume Social Security remains stable enough to pay out to qualified recipients when you retire.
‣ Although most would agree one cannot live comfortably on Social Security

benefits alone, those funds will still beef up your retirement income.
‣ Also, according to the U.S. Social Security guidelines, you can retire as

early as age 62 and still receive some retirement funds.
‣ However, keep in mind that the longer you wait to draw on your monthly

Social Security, the higher your monthly allotted amount will be.
‣ An added benefit to waiting until 65 or 66 to retire is that your own

retirement savings will have an opportunity to grow during your additional years of work. Click Here Now and Get Your Free Retirement Calculator

3. If you’re planning an active retirement including a lot of travel, you might want to retire at a younger age, say 55 or 60. In order to retire at this age, you have to take into consideration the amount of money that will be lost by drawing from a retirement plan early. 4. Consider maintaining a long-term care insurance policy in case you develop a debilitating illness or condition during your retirement. These policies cover nursing homes past the short time allowed by Medicare.


The age you select to retire is important: the longer you wait to retire, the more your savings will accrue and the larger your Social Security payments will be. However, if your goal is to enjoy an active lifestyle, your health and age will become a large determining factor. “Retirement itself is the best gift. No gold watch could ever top it.” ~Abigail Charleson

Figuring Your Retirement Living Costs
Looking into the future, figure out what it will cost you to live comfortably during your retirement. Think about Social Security benefits. Should you consider them in your financial plan? It’s smart to have an idea of what your retirement costs will be. 1. Long before you retire, estimate the amount of money you’ll need to live in an average retirement month.
‣ List the expenses you’ll have when you retire. Give a concerted effort to

compute what your living expenses will be.
‣ Include everything: home maintenance fees, clothing allowance, and the

‣ Take into account that you won’t need clothes for work so your clothing

allowance might be considerably less than what you’re spending now.


‣ Fuel needs for your vehicle or dollars to take public transportation will

lessen since you won’t be traveling to and from work five days a week.
‣ Keep in mind that your home may be paid off by then or you may be living

in a different home.
‣ Depending on your age now, add another 25% to 50% to the total to allow

for increases in living expenses by the time you reach retirement age. This final figure represents your monthly retirement costs.
‣ To project the total amount of funds you’ll need during retirement, use your

final monthly figure and multiply it by 12 (months) and then by the number of years you hope to live in retirement. 2. Can you count on Social Security monies during your retirement? As mentioned earlier, most people require more money than the amount that Social Security provides.
‣ According to the latest statistics, 10,000 baby boomers a day are turning 65

everyday over the next 2 decades.
‣ Analysts predict that a time will come when the Social Security system runs

out of money.
‣ It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when the system will be unable to cover all

the recipients that qualify to receive Social Security benefits. The latest estimate of when Social Security will deplete is 2040, according to MSNBC.



‣ Whatever the case, the safest way to approach your retirement is to assume

Social Security may not be there for you.
‣ Look at it this way: If you deal with the problem directly and plan well for

your retirement and there’s Social Security money there for you when the time comes, consider it a welcome and pleasant addition to your alreadyaccumulated retirement funds. Click Here Now and Get Your Free Retirement Calculator

Estimating possible costs in your retirement and considering the impact of Social Security are wise things to do. Keep your estimated costs in a folder and re-figure them every five years or so. Thinking proactively will truly pay off when it comes to planning for your retirement. “Life begins at retirement.” ~Author Unknown


Saving for Your Retirement
How much should you bank for your retirement years? Do you need to increase your savings as you age? Consider the following points as you plan for your retirement. 1. Start saving now. The earlier you begin saving for retirement, the better off you’ll be. Develop a passion for saving money.
‣ An important part of planning for retirement is establishing the habit of

saving money, no matter how small, each payday.
‣ Begin your retirement savings as early in your life as you can. Let go of the

mental block that you don’t have to start saving yet. Regardless of your age, save, save, save and do it now!
‣ Even if you bank just $20 a week for the first couple of years, establishing

the savings habit is the most salient feature of planning for your golden years.
‣ If you haven’t yet started saving for your retirement, strengthen your

resolve to begin putting money aside right away.
‣ When you’re just 21 or 22 years old, if you can get into the groove of

consistently placing money in the bank for your retirement, you’ll be amazed at the amount of money you can accumulate for your retirement. 2. Make every effort to increase your retirement savings. Another facet to planning for retirement is gradually increasing the amount you save. This



action is easier than you think.
‣ One way to increase the amount you save is to increase the amount you

save based on the amount of money you earn. In other words, when you get a pay raise or your net pay totals more than usual, place half or more of the new amount into the bank, along with the amount you normally save.
‣ Another way to bump up your savings is: after you pay off other bills, apply

those dollars toward your retirement. Consider this example: A year ago, Randy purchased a couple of rooms of furniture. The furniture store was running a deal where he could take twelve months to pay off the furniture interest-free. Randy’s total payment was $300 per month.
‣ Upon paying the final furniture payment, Randy will have an extra $300

monthly. Now, Randy can bank that $300 monthly into his retirement savings.
‣ Because regular savings and money market accounts are established

using money you’ve already paid taxes on, when you withdraw from those accounts, the money is tax-free. 3. Never doubt the power of consistently saving money, no matter how small you might think it is. Interest income will generate even more money for your future. If your finances are already strained, think about specific ways to bring in money now to save for your future. Look to the following ideas for inspiration:
‣ Buy and sell items on eBay. Believe it or not, people are making big money

engaging in this type of buy and re-sell activity. Whatever you’re interested in - small collectible figurines, tools, purses, or shoes - you may just have


enough knowledge to earn some extra money buying and selling for your golden years.
‣ If you’ve always wanted to start your own “flea market” business, why not

do it now? You might enjoy setting up your wares at local flea markets to make additional money.
‣ Buy secondhand instead of new to stretch your dollars. Bank the difference

between what you would have paid for something new and what you did pay for something secondhand.
‣ Some experts report now is the time to buy silver and gold and hold onto it.

If you decide to engage in such speculation, educate yourself about the products you’re considering.
‣ Think creatively about conserving your dollars. If you have a yard, plant a

garden and grow a variety of vegetables to save money at the store.
‣ Go fishing on weekends to catch enough fish to eat for 2 or 3 dinners

during the week.
‣ If you live in a rural area, you could even raise a few chickens for your

family’s eggs and also to sell them.
‣ Start websites to earn advertising dollars and apply them toward your

retirement funds.
‣ If you love to write, consider taking part in publishing your articles or

books on websites where they can be sold for use on reading devices such as the Kindle or Barnes and Noble’s Nook. Even Amazon has a “self14


publishing” department where writers can publish their books to be sold online.

Experience the Magic of Compound Interest
As you save over the years, your money will grow due to the compounding of interest. Here are a couple of scenarios to help you understand what compound interest can do for you. Scenario A: Let’s say you save $50 per week beginning at age 21 for retirement. You place the money in an account that earns 4% interest. At age 31, you’ll have $32,464.00. Now, you can afford to double your retirement savings to $100 weekly. Ten years later, when you’re 41, you’ll have $112,983.00. Again, you increase your savings to $150 weekly. At age 51, you’ll have $264,636.00. You decide to continue saving for the next 4 years, until age 55, at the same amount of $150 weekly. When you’re 55, your total has grown to $344,034. Since you plan to work 10 more years before retiring, you step up your payments to $200 weekly. $639,112 will be waiting for you when you retire. $347,912 of that figure is compound interest: that’s like getting $347,912 for free!

Starting Age 21

Amount Saved Weekly

# of Years 10

Interest Rate 4%

Your Total Deposits $ 26,000

Interest Accrued $ 6,464

Total Funds (cumulative) $ 32,464



31 41 51 55

$100 $150 $150 $200

10 10 4 10

4% 4% 4% 4%

$ 52,000 $ 78,000 $ 31,200 $104,000

$ 28,519 $ 73,653 $ 48,198 $191,078 $347,912

$112,983 $264,636 $344,034 $639,112

Your Total Accrued Interest from Age 21 to 65:

Scenario B: You’re 55 and you’ve accumulated $400,000 through your savings, stocks, bonds, and other investments. Now, you want to invest it in accounts that will pay you 4% interest. You’ll continue to add $6,000 yearly to the principal. At age 60, just 5 years later, you’ll have $520,459. As retirement looms, you decide to increase your payments to $12,000 yearly. The money in the account continues to earn 4%. Five years later when you’re 65, you’ll have $700,813.00, including $210,813 of interest compounded over those 10 years.

Starting Age 55 60

Amount Saved Weekly

# of Years 5 5

Interest Rate 4% 4%

Your Total Deposits $30,000 $60,000

Interest Accrued $ 90,459 $120,354 $210,813

Total Funds (cumulative) $520,459 $700,813

$500 $1,000

Your Total Accrued Interest from Age 55 to 65 (over 10 years)



Get started early saving for your retirement. Then, increase your savings at every possible opportunity. If you’ve already started saving for your retirement, pat yourself on the back as you’ll accumulate extra dollars over the years thanks to accruing interest. When times are tough, think creatively to find ways to earn money for retirement. “The challenge of retirement is how to spend time without spending money.” ~Author Unknown


Your Debt Concerns for Retirement
If you want a leisurely life as you age, learn now to control and even eliminate your debt. Paying off your mortgage will bring great relief to you as you get closer to retirement. 1. Control your debt by using just one major credit card. One of the best strategies to keep your debt under control is to use one major credit card and only in the case of an emergency.
‣ If you must use the credit card, strengthen your resolve to pay the entire bill

off monthly so that you never pay finance charges.
‣ When you pay finance charges to credit card companies, you’re effectively

giving them your retirement saving dollars.
‣ Getting out of the habit of using your credit card means you’ll be in control

of your debt. 2. Eliminate your debt. Endeavor to pay off all your creditors. Approach this goal with optimism and confidence.
‣ Regardless of how close you are to retirement, it’s wise to owe as few

creditors as possible.
‣ After all, establishing wise financial habits now will enable you in the long

run to have a comfortable retirement.



‣ Plus, the dollars you save in not paying finance charges every month can

largely fund your retirement, should you decide to bank it for yourself instead.
‣ Train yourself to live on your earnings, rather than engaging in “overflow”

spending (spending more than you earn). 3. Strive to pay off your home mortgage before you retire. The advantages here are obvious: no house payment means you won’t have to pay out the money monthly to live in your home.
‣ Your property taxes, homeowners’ insurance, and cost of upkeep on the

home will be your main house costs during retirement if you pay off your mortgage beforehand.
‣ If you’re married and can’t foresee paying off your mortgage before

retirement, it might be wise to obtain and maintain a life insurance policy on each of you. The goal is to have a policy to provide the surviving spouse enough money to pay off the mortgage if the other spouse passes away. Make plans for a debt-free retirement so you can live without worry in your golden years. Discovering strategies now to eliminate your debt will be one more step toward achieving the fun and relaxing retirement you seek. “I’m not just retiring from the company; I’m also retiring from my stress, my commute, my alarm clock, and my iron.” ~Hartman Jule

Getting Help and Advice from People In the Know


Try to get as much information as you can from friends and family about their experiences planning for and reaching retirement. A trusted tax professional and financial planner or broker can provide you with much-needed professional insights about how to achieve your money management goals. 1. Gather information about retiring by interviewing friends and family. Talk with people you know who have recently retired.
‣ Inquire if you can informally “interview” them about how they prepared for

their retirement. Can they offer you any tips on successful retirement?
‣ Ask if there’s anything they didn’t do to prepare, that they would suggest

you do.

2. Establish a relationship with a tax professional. If you already have a relationship with a tax accountant, take advantage of it.
‣ Ask him what he would recommend you do to prepare for your retirement. ‣ A tax accountant you know and trust can be one of the best resources you

have to guide your financial planning. 3. Hire a financial planner or stockbroker to help you prepare for your retirement. If you don’t already have a financial planner or stockbroker, consider looking for such a professional to aid you in your quest to build your retirement dollars.



‣ When you discover a financial planner or stockbroker that looks good to

you, check his credentials online or request them from his office to review in advance.
‣ Look for stockbrokers by firm and then by name at the website of the

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to check to see if he is licensed.
‣ Check the SEC’s website to determine if the stockbroker in question has

any complaints lodged against him or if he’s ever been charged with crimes related to his work.
‣ Use caution when making decisions about placing money into stocks and

‣ Particularly in a volatile economy, use balance and great deliberation in

your investment decisions to achieve your goals.

“It’s nice to get out of the rat race, but you have to learn to get along with less cheese.” ~ Gene Perret


Educating Yourself About Formalized Retirement Savings Plans
Learning about saving for your retirement can be encouraging and will motivate you to start or increase your retirement savings. It’s important to both you and your family’s future to understand more about savings plans, such as 401(K)s and various Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). You may also want to make the effort to learn about elements of a stock portfolio. 1. Meet with your company’s Human Resources staff about retirement and financial planning. Many companies offer a range of savings plans for their employees. If your company has such a plan, thoroughly check it out. Most likely, you’ll stand to benefit greatly by taking part in such a plan.
‣ Find out if you can take part in a 401(K) plan. A 401(K) is a tax-

sheltered savings plan.
‣ In essence, any money you agree to have deposited into a 401(K) is tax-

free. You pay no taxes on this money until you withdraw it, which will hopefully be many years later when you’re in a lower tax bracket.
‣ Many companies will contribute an additional percentage of your own

contribution to the 401(K).
‣ All 401(K) plans have limits as to how much you can deposit from your

earnings. If you can swing it financially, max out a 401(K) savings plan as



you are basically receiving “free money” from your employer for your retirement years. 2. Look in to traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) to fund your retirement years. IRAs are great vehicles for retirement savings, as you don’t pay taxes on funds deposited into the account. You will pay taxes at the time the money is withdrawn.
‣ Another type of IRA to consider is the Roth IRA. A Roth IRA allows

you to save a certain percentage of your earnings, as in the traditional IRA. Although you do have to pay taxes on any monies you invest in a Roth IRA, the good news is that when you withdraw the funds, they are taxfree. Set a goal to educate yourself about various ways to save for your retirement. Meet with your Human Resources representatives to inquire about types of retirement savings opportunities available for you at work. You may also want to find out the difference between 401(K) plans, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA), and Roth IRAs to determine your best options to save for your future.

“Don’t simply retire from something; have something to retire to.” ~ Harry Emerson Fosdick


No matter what your age, with adequate preparation, your retirement can give you the opportunity to enjoy the life you’ve always wanted. If you haven’t yet begun retirement planning, it’s time to begin your journey! It’s never too early to plan for the future that you so richly deserve. “Waiting until your retirement party is too late to start planning your retirement portfolio.” ~ Richard Wastcoat in the Telegraph

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