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Retirement Planning – the S.M.A.R.T. way By Shyam Amladi

Are you planning to retire soon? Or not soon? 

No matter, like those other extremely nasty things that are "certain" like death (UGH!) and taxes (Double and Triple UGH!), retirement is actually an event no one can avoid but is actually a pleasant rite of passage--and something to look forward to at any age, specially in your sunset years..

That is, as long as you reasonably plan for it. It is not a pastime you can just saunter into, or worse still, think of plunging into. .

There are so many books and articles about retirement that I have decided not to recommend any--after all, most of them are cookie-cutter, one-sock-fits-all type of read. And we are all different, and I mean even spouses who have been long time companions are very different in their outlook on life, priorities, hobbies, friendships etc.

And yet, beneath all those differences, at least when it comes to retirement planning, there are some fundamental truths that we would all do very well to remember and act upon.

What is S.M.A.R.T.?

S  -- Save

M -- Manage expenditures

A -- Accumulate useful assets

R --- Reduce debt

and finally:

T -- Track your yield

You need to be vigilant and consistent in your approach to retirement planning. Remember you are saving not just for yourself and your spouse, but your non-adult children. Your savings have to see them through their school and college tenures, lasting some 15-17 years. Yes there are student loans, but that is a burden you and your child can avoid if you save enough.

So BE : S.M.A.R.T.

 

        Watch for future articles on  

S

    M

         A

             R

                   T

 

In the meantime,   here are some useful websites to help you track how your retirement plan is coming along.

(Source: from US Government's Social Security website)

  1. Calculate how much you need to retire
    • The Employee Benefit Research Institute, 
      Ballpark Estimator
      (Use this calculator to get a basic idea of how much you need to save before you retire.)
    • Department of Labor, 
      Taking The Mystery Out Of Retirement Planning
      (This information is valuable to everyone. However, the booklet, which includes worksheets, is specifically designed to help those who are about a decade from retirement.)
  2. Department of Labor (DOL)
  3. "Planning for Retirement / Retiring"
    (This MyMoney.gov page provides links to a variety of retirement planning tools, including a Medicare Eligibility Tool.)
  4. Senior Citizens' Resources 
    (This USA.gov site provides a variety of financial planning tools, including a Federal Employees Retirement Calculator.)

Visit these other sites for useful retirement planning information:

  1. Calculate how much you need to retire
    • The Employee Benefit Research Institute, 
      Ballpark Estimator
      (Use this calculator to get a basic idea of how much you need to save before you retire.)
    • Department of Labor, 
      Taking The Mystery Out Of Retirement Planning
      (This information is valuable to everyone. However, the booklet, which includes worksheets, is specifically designed to help those who are about a decade from retirement.)
  2. Department of Labor (DOL)
  3. "Planning for Retirement / Retiring"
    (This MyMoney.gov page provides links to a variety of retirement planning tools, including a Medicare Eligibility Tool.)
  4. Senior Citizens' Resources 
    (This USA.gov site provides a variety of financial planning tools, including a Federal Employees Retirement Calculator.)

Visit these other sites for useful retirement planning information:

  1. Calculate how much you need to retire
    • The Employee Benefit Research Institute, 
      Ballpark Estimator
      (Use this calculator to get a basic idea of how much you need to save before you retire.)
    • Department of Labor, 
      Taking The Mystery Out Of Retirement Planning
      (This information is valuable to everyone. However, the booklet, which includes worksheets, is specifically designed to help those who are about a decade from retirement.)
  2. Department of Labor (DOL)
  3. "Planning for Retirement / Retiring"
    (This MyMoney.gov page provides links to a variety of retirement planning tools, including a Medicare Eligibility Tool.)
  4. Senior Citizens' Resources 
    (This USA.gov site provides a variety of financial planning tools, including a Federal Employees Retirement Calculator.)

Visit these other sites for useful retirement planning information:

  1. Calculate how much you need to retire
    • The Employee Benefit Research Institute, 
      Ballpark Estimator
      (Use this calculator to get a basic idea of how much you need to save before you retire.)
    • Department of Labor, 
      Taking The Mystery Out Of Retirement Planning
      (This information is valuable to everyone. However, the booklet, which includes worksheets, is specifically designed to help those who are about a decade from retirement.)
  2. Department of Labor (DOL)
  3. "Planning for Retirement / Retiring"
    (This MyMoney.gov page provides links to a variety of retirement planning tools, including a Medicare Eligibility Tool.)
  4. Senior Citizens' Resources 
    (This USA.gov site provides a variety of financial planning tools, including a Federal Employees Retirement Calculator.)

Visit these other sites for useful retirement planning information:

  1. Calculate how much you need to retire
    • The Employee Benefit Research Institute, 
      Ballpark Estimator
      (Use this calculator to get a basic idea of how much you need to save before you retire.)
    • Department of Labor, 
      Taking The Mystery Out Of Retirement Planning
      (This information is valuable to everyone. However, the booklet, which includes worksheets, is specifically designed to help those who are about a decade from retirement.)
  2. Department of Labor (DOL)
  3. "Planning for Retirement / Retiring"
    (This MyMoney.gov page provides links to a variety of retirement planning tools, including a Medicare Eligibility Tool.)
  4. Senior Citizens' Resources 
    (This USA.gov site provides a variety of financial planning tools, including a Federal Employees Retirement Calculator.)

Visit these other sites for useful retirement planning information:

  1. Calculate how much you need to retire
    • The Employee Benefit Research Institute, 
      Ballpark Estimator
      (Use this calculator to get a basic idea of how much you need to save before you retire.)
    • Department of Labor, 
      Taking The Mystery Out Of Retirement Planning
      (This information is valuable to everyone. However, the booklet, which includes worksheets, is specifically designed to help those who are about a decade from retirement.)
  2. Department of Labor (DOL)
  3. "Planning for Retirement / Retiring"
    (This MyMoney.gov page provides links to a variety of retirement planning tools, including a Medicare Eligibility Tool.)
  4. Senior Citizens' Resources 
    (This USA.gov site provides a variety of financial planning tools, including a Federal Employees Retirement Calculator.)

Visit these other sites for useful retirement planning information:

  1. Calculate how much you need to retire
    • The Employee Benefit Research Institute, 
      Ballpark Estimator
      (Use this calculator to get a basic idea of how much you need to save before you retire.)