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Reduce your consumer debt as much as possible and consider the pros and cons of paying off your mortgage early. But if you think you'll need to borrow money during retirement, determine whether you want to refinance your mortgage, take out a home-equity loan, apply for a credit card or otherwise take out a loan before you retire. You might have more options for getting a loan when you still have employment income. No matter what loans you have or how old you are, it's important to keep your debts manageable.  

Consider reducing your stock ownership and increasing your conservative investments. Possible portfolio: 30 to 60 percent in stocks or stock mutual funds and most of the rest in CDs, bonds, bond funds or money market accounts.  

Your Retirement 

The rules governing retirement can be complicated. So, about a year before you plan to retire, discuss your situation with a Social Security Administration claims representative. After you decide on a retirement date, apply for your Social Security benefits and other pensions about three months in advance. If you plan to work part-time, find out how this will affect your Social Security income or taxes. 

Arrange to have your periodic payments, such as Social Security benefits, directly deposited into your checking account. Ask your personnel department or financial advisor about whether to receive your 401(k) money in a lump sum or periodic payments.  

Reduce your debts as much as possible. Be careful before taking on new debt, such as a home-equity loan or a reverse mortgage. 

Lean toward conservative, income-producing investments, but don't rule out stocks or stock funds. Possible portfolio: 20 to 40 percent in stock or stock mutual funds and most of the rest in CDs, bonds, bond funds or money market accounts. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Tips for Retirement 

 

Know Your Retirement Needs 

Retirement is expensive. Experts estimate that you’ll need about 70 percent of your preretirement income – lower earners, 90 percent or more – to maintain your standard of living when you stop working. Take charge of your financial future.  

Find Out About Your Social Security Benefits  

Social Security pays the average retiree about 40 percent of preretirement earnings. Call the Social Security Administration at 1.800.772.1213 for a free Social Security Statement and find out more about your benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov. 

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