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There are some things you are better off getting expert assistance on......
Sound Financial Planning Advice regarding retirement is one of them !
Planning for your retirement is not a job you should take on by yourself. Most people are very good at doing certain things; NOBODY is very good at doing ALL things. Like most people, you have worked very hard to provide yourself and your family with a good quality of life. Over the years you have learned to manage your money on a personal, day-to-day basis. But when you move form the "money accumulation" period of your life, to the "money de-cumulation'" period of your life, you cannot afford to make mistakes. While no things having to do with money and investments is simple or guaranteed, you want to give yourself the best possibility of not outliving your money, but at the same time, still maintaining a standard of living you are happy with. You have to be generating reliable retirement income for the rest of your life -- no matter how long you live. This will require an ambitious undertaking that takes time and skill. So it's entirely understandable that you might want to seek the advice of a professional financial advisor to help you with this task. After all, you can't afford to make mistakes, and you'll need to make every dollar count if you want your money to last throughout your retirement. Yet not all financial advisors are qualified to help plan for retirement. Some advisors lack the necessary skills or expertise when it comes to generating retirement income, while some are more interested in making money for themselves than for you. Indeed, be aware that some advisors actually pose a danger to your retirement security. Of course, there are also trustworthy advisors with specialized skills in this sort of financial planning. Your job is to find a trusted financial advisor who will take your goals and circumstances into account and then help you choose the best methods for you for generating a lifelong retirement income. Let's start by distinguishing between investment advisors and retirement planners.
There are four major Decisions in Retirement Planning;
1- When you stop working (most important)
2- When you start Social Security
3- Withdrawal rate
4- Asset Allocation
A specialist in retirement income planning should be able to answer the following questions:
- For Social Security, what are my options for claiming based on my age and marital status?
- What is my optimal age for starting Social Security benefits?
- If I am already receiving benefits, are there options for changing, stopping or delaying?
- How do my spouse, ex-spouses, or children earnings and/or claiming benefits affect what I receive?
- What are the income tax ramifications of SS benefits?
- Whats the best way to integrate Social Security with pensions, IRAs and 401k payments?
- If I have a non-Social Security government pension, how will this affect any SS or my spouses SS payments?
- What, if anything, do these Social Security provisions mean to me; "File and Suspend", "Restricted Claim for Spousal Benefits", Government Pension Offset, Windfall Elimination Provision?
- What does, "Claim now, claim more later" mean, and does it apply to me?