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  1. 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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  2. 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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  3.  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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  4. how much should you save to save 1 million dollars for retirement

    It's time for the million-dollar question. Literally. How much do you need to save to have $1 million in retirement savings? Apparently, if you’re 21, you only need to save $25 a week to be set for a comfortable retirement. Ah, to be 21 again.

    Because that ship sailed long ago for us, we need to make sure that we are financially prepared for our retirement. $1 million seems to be the magic number that comes up often when we talk about retirement savings. This is based roughly on the idea that you can fund your retirement with a 4% draw, supplement with Social Security, and have enough money for a 30-year retirement with a comfortable, if not extravagant, standard of living.

    But with lingering low interest rates, market volatility, and lengthening average lifespans, a 4% withdrawal strategy may not work for many Americans. What to do about it?

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  5. Time to diversify

    You’ve heard it before: the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. Through all stages of our personal and financial lives, we know there will inevitably be twists and turns. The market goes up, the market goes down. But there are safer routes than others for our money. While there’s no foolproof Waze app for retirement savings and investment, there are directions we can take—and avoid!

    First, Let’s Look at Your Withdrawal Rate.

    Two key players in the viability of your financial plan for retirement are the size of your retirement nest egg and the pace at which you plan to spend it. This is your withdrawal rate. After putting in the time and consideration to determine the magic number for your retirement and your intended rate to spend it down, you may have reservations about your actual investment portfolio and whether it will perform as expected to sustain you over time.

    Since no one can say how long you will live, our lens of The Rule of 100 helps add perspective to this all-important strategy of making sure your retirement income will last.

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  6. 401k fake news

    Note: This is the fifth and final part of a month-long series on financial awareness in the U.S., and how investors are planning – or not preparing – for retirement. Here are some surprising insights into how the spread of fake news is growing - and how it's affecting the lives of retirement investors.

    Fake news has struck again. The spread of misinformation has whipped up a new public storm, this time with 401(k)s and their tax-favored status. If the news buzz was any indicator, President Trump appeared to be pushing for an end to tax-deferred saving advantages tied to 401(k) contributions in his tax policy reform proposal.

    The mayhem began at a White House press conference, when press secretary Sean Spicer was taking questions about the proposed tax reforms. Trump’s plan outline had called for a pullback of nearly all tax deductions in exchange for tax code reforms elsewhere.

    Amid a volley of questions, Spicer was asked if Trump’s plan would affect 401(k) contributions. He responded by saying the plan protected charitable gifts, mortgage interest deductions, and “that’s it.” Then began a flurry of media activity – press reports ranged from uncertainty to affirmation of the tax proposal advocating for 401(k) changes. The Trump administration later clarified, responding that changes to 401(k) contributions were not in the works.

    While the press outlets reporting uncertainty over possible changes had it right, it shows an emerging trend: the impact of fake news, or false and/or misleading articles, on the lives of everyday Americans. And research shows it is having effects on people’s financial lives.

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  7. how much money do you need to retire jpg

    The “magic number” to retire comfortably – as worry-free as possible – has always been a hot topic between financial professionals and their clients. Do I have enough to do what I want? Did I save enough for retirement? Have I been living beyond my means? Do I have to keep working for another few years? Will I live to 100? These questions echo in almost everyone’s head, especially late at night. And, for some, they can get louder closer to retirement – when that “magic number” really matters. Luckily, there are many magic numbers.

    One Magic Number Does Not Fit All

    Take a look at your income before and imagine it after the gold watch. An income replacement number for retirement is often initially based on the income you have prior to your retirement. However, that figure may not apply to the actual income you need after you retire.

    What’s your lifestyle now? What will it look like in post-retirement? Traveling around the world? Downsizing and becoming fulltime grandparents? Start a Second Act career? Supporting your kids if they move home? Living large and blowing it on a Porsche? Well, not everyone has retirement plans. So it doesn’t make sense that a “magic number” for one individual, couple or family is universal.

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  8. More Americans Losing Sleep Over Money than Before Great Recession

    Note: This is the fourth part of a month-long series on financial awareness in the U.S., and how investors are planning – or not preparing – for retirement. Here are some important takeaways that are keeping Americans from financial security and peace of mind.

    For the first time in a long while, Americans are feeling more stressed than ever. If surveys are any indicator, money concerns are a big part of it. In fact, more Americans are losing sleep over money issues than before the Great Recession.

    According to CreditCards.com, 65% of Americans report having insomnia over money issues – a 9-point jump from 56% in 2007. And what accounts for these new, high levels of stress? Here’s a quick look at the sleep killers for Americans in 2017.

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  9. How can High 401k Fees Affect Your Retirement Success

    Note: This is the third part of a month-long series on financial awareness in the U.S., 401(k) plans, and how investors are planning – or not preparing – for retirement. If you have an employer-sponsored retirement plan, here are some strong insights into how high 401(k) plan fees can be detrimental for retirement saving goals.

    As prior posts have mentioned, the 401(k) is the retirement savings plan most used by U.S. employers. And millions of Americans use it for their retirement saving goals. It’s no surprise as to why.

    For one, the IRS permits pre-tax employee contributions of up to $18,000 (2017 contribution limit). Plan participants aged 50 and up are able to make pre-tax, “catch-up” contributions of an additional $6,000. Many 401(k)s also come with an employer match, providing a powerful savings incentive for U.S. workers.

    Yet while the 401(k) is a valuable retirement savings vehicle, it has its downsides. One negative is the presence of high cumulative fees within some 401(k) plans and their in-plan investment classes. Over time, costly high fees can dwindle away earnings, which also siphons off money that would grow with compounding. So there is also the opportunity cost of the money investors could have earned if those funds remained within their 401(k). It could be a difference of thousands, if not tens of thousands of lost dollars in potential retirement income.

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  10. Financial Illiteracy and the Great 401k Experiment

    Note: This is the second part of a month-long series on financial awareness in the U.S., 401(k) plans, and how investors are planning – or not preparing – for retirement. If you have an employer-sponsored retirement plan, read on for insights on how a lack of financial education can tie into people’s experiences with their 401(k) plans.

    Financial Literacy: A Must for Retirement Success

    Financial wellness is the ground-spring for a happy and financially secure retirement. As common sense may indicate, this begins with well-informed retirement planning decisions. But many Americans fall short in their knowledge of even the basics, as numerous consumer surveys document, year after year. And in turn, this knowledge gap can lead into broken retirement dreams: crushing debt, depletion of savings, scaled-back lifestyles, and other headaches that undermine Americans’ post-work standard of living.

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