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  1. americans retirement knowledge stand

    Virtually everyone understands that money doesn’t grow on trees. But what about planning for retirement? If recent research gives any indication, many Americans may be coming up short. In the 2017 Retirement Income Literacy Quiz – courtesy of The American College for Financial Services and the New York Life Center for Retirement Income – most quiz-takers received barely-failing or below-failing grades.

    To measure retirement literacy, the test comes with two options: a six-item questionnaire on key retirement planning areas, and a more comprehensive test with 38 questions. With retirement literacy and retirement planning success being closely linked, you may want to check out the six-question quiz yourself to gauge your own retirement readiness.

    So, what exactly did these questions ask? And how did Americans fare in their retirement knowledge? Let’s delve into the data now.

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  2. generational conversations habits retirement planning

    You have probably heard plenty of old platitudes about the importance of taking action. For many, “if you’re going to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk” is one such truism. But in money matters, people often hesitate to prepare for their retirement future. For that matter, they might not even discuss it with their family and other loved ones.

    In various research studies, the findings are stifling. Not only are Americans struggling with retirement readiness, debt, and living within their financial means. They may limit themselves in their discussions of financial matters. Money may be a taboo subject or people may be embarrassed about their personal financial circumstances to the point of not wanting to discuss them - not to mention other possible factors.

    So, just how are Americans going about retirement and financial topics? And how might this affect future generational spending and saving practices? Let’s dive into the numbers.

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  3. why people dont buy life insurance

    Lots of people agree on the importance of life insurance. But it’s something that many of us don’t own, as research indicates.

    According to LIMRA, a financial research group, 30% of U.S. households owned no life insurance at all in 2016. About 48% of households, or 60 million families, had an insurance gap that averaged $200,000 from what they actually needed. Factoring in average total coverage, almost 5 in 10 families would have only three years of household income replaced by their life insurance policies.

    So, what are some reasons that Americans aren’t buying life insurance?

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  4. retirement planning steps with your spouse partner

    Have you and your spouse discussed your goals and expectations for retirement so that you can be fully prepared? Not that much? You’re not alone. According to research from Hearts and Wallets, more than half of Americans (58%) are struggling with retirement planning, estate planning, and making investment decisions.

    An article on NextAvenue.org talks about why this might be case. Part of the trouble is baby boomers have a lot of emotional hopes and dreams tied up in their retirement. They also have goals they want to accomplish before they retire, which may lead to delays in retirement decisions. As for estate planning, many older Americans simply don’t feel a strong urge to deal with estate matters yet.

    As you approach retirement, it’s time for discussions. You should have frank conversations with your partner about retirement, what you want it to be, and how you will pay for it. This is a crucial step in being able to enjoy a secure and comfortable future. Let's go over some important steps to take.

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  5. understanding risk tolerance for retirement planning success

    Like everything else we do, saving for retirement involves risk analysis. We might not think about getting in the car to go to the grocery store, or even booking our dream vacation to hike the Inca Trail in Peru, as particularly risky decisions. But there are still elements of risk involved in every choice we make.

    Your risk tolerance will help to you maximize and protect your retirement savings when you make sound choices. As you save and near retirement, your risk tolerance should change, adapting to your financial and income needs. In order to manage your retirement planning effectively, you need to understand your risk tolerance, grasp your financial needs in retirement, and make effective decisions about your savings and asset allocation.

    Overall, you should be ready for a “smooth” financial transition into retirement – when you stop earning a full-time salary or business income, and start drawing on the savings you accumulated over many years. Working with a financial professional will help you meet your retirement income and financial goals, like the independent financial professionals at SafeMoney.com.

    Let’s go into more detail about risk tolerance and why it’s so important.

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  6.  time to lock in stock market gains

    American markets have been enjoying a recent stock market rally, with some markets posting double-digit increases. It is the nature of the markets to rise and fall. So if you are approaching retirement, this might be the time to begin to lock in your stock market gains. If you're wondering why, think about it. Many Americans will be relying on their portfolio money for retirement income once they leave the workplace. It may be to pay for spending quality time on the green, sailing, horseback riding, getting away on vacation, or whatever their preferred retirement activities may be.

    Older Americans tend to have less invested in stocks because they move their savings out of higher risk vehicles in their pre-retirement years. This is typically to protect their retirement nest egg, since they tend to have less time for recovery. Unfortunately, many Americans are still reeling from losses from the 2008 financial crisis. They are looking at a delayed retirement.

    You can take steps to protect the financial gains your portfolio has enjoyed and start preserving your wealth for your retirement lifetime. This may call for a shift in financial focus -- a start to evaluating safer retirement vehicles which have a lower risk profile than equities, like annuities and life insurance. It is a good idea to review your portfolio at least once a year, to review to make sure that your portfolio is meeting your goals, objectives, and expectations. As you approach retirement, you may want to begin to transfer your portfolio to a more risk-adverse position and realize any financial growth you've achieved before the markets make their natural corrections.

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  7. summer saving tips safe money

    When you think about saving for retirement, it’s easy to focus on putting more money away and diversifying your investments or retirement funds. Another easy way to not only find more money for retirement, but to also get used to living on less, is to reduce your current spending and monthly bills. As always, you can stop buying that delicious latte every morning.

    James C. Molet at Retirement Savvy runs an excellent feature called Living Frugally that provides excellent advice on cutting daily expenses, but let’s focus on some of the big-ticket expenses that are eating up your income and future retirement savings.

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  8. how to live your pre retirement life before retirement

    You’re thinking about retirement. Maybe you have 5-10 years left to prepare for this exciting change. It’s time to consider what you need to do to ensure you have sufficient money for the retirement lifestyle you want.

    Let’s assume you and your partner have talked about your retirement expectations and know how much you’ll need, how much you have, and a plan for reaching those financial goals. Then you can take these final years before retirement to prepare and ensure that you are able to enjoy retirement.

    Let's get into some of the issues you and your partner should be thinking about as you approach your post-work years.

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  9. should you put your retirement savings into annuity

    Do annuities make sense for your retirement portfolio? Well, when used right they can be a very powerful financial vehicle, especially for retirement. Annuities allow an investor to pay a lump sum of money upfront and then receive an income stream in return for a set period of time. The insurance company is bound to provide this income stream by contractual guarantees. The income stream can last anywhere from a set duration to a lifetime.

    Here’s a quick look at some annuity basics and other helpful tips to consider.

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  10.  3 retirement planning mistakes to avoid intro image

    How should I invest for retirement? And during retirement? There’s a lot of great advice to answer these questions – a wealth of strategic financial tips for nest eggs of all sizes. But equally important is what not to do. Below are 3 retirement planning mistakes—avoid them at all costs.

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