Category Archives: Retirement

Best Way to Avoid Boredom in Retirement

Many people find they do not have enough hours in the day during retirement. At the same time, others are looking for help. They want to find the best way to avoid boredom in retirement. With so many people retiring these days, many are struggling, especially after the first year. They spend the first year traveling, completing projects around the house, and visiting friends they have not seen for several years. They did not have time when they were working. Suddenly they have all of this free time, and they make the most of it. But what happens after the first year when all projects are completed? The budget has been maxed out, and your friends are also traveling. Now what do you do?

Best Way to Avoid Boredom in Retirement

There are three essential elements that consumers need to consider to avoid boredom in retirement. They are:

  • Sufficient budget
  • Good health
  • A purpose to your life

Having only one or two of these is not sufficient. Having a purpose in life is probably the most important of them all. If you do not have a reason for getting up in the morning, it does not matter how healthy you are or how much money you have. You can survive on less money and varying degrees of health. Having a purpose in life keeps you going, challenges you, and makes life interesting.

Everyone is different. Your purpose in life will be different from everyone you know. Whether it is a second career, pursuing hobbies, looking after the grandkids, or volunteering, it is something that you look forward to each day. Find what works for you. Try different things until you have that interest in life that makes you get up in the morning looking forward to the day.


Do You Have a Retirement Vision?

Retirement VisionMany people who are not retired ask me what I do with my time now that I am retired. I actually have a hard time answering the question. My days are full of different tasks, hobbies, a small part-time business, exercising, and managing our investment portfolio. I jump from one to the other. Also, I don’t hesitate to accept impromptu invitations. I meet for coffee with friends, lunch, or even a beer at the pub.

Finding a Purpose

But the real question is not how do I fill my time, but rather what is my vision for the next 10 years and how will I feel about how I spent the last 10 years of my life. What I do know is that I do not want to work for a company, punch a clock, or answer to a boss. So going back to work is out of the question. Fortunately, I have enough money for retirement so this gives me a lot of freedom.

Do I want to be well known for having volunteered and help a lot of people? Do I want to be known for a low golf score because I went golfing every day? Or do I want to be able to say I traveled a lot and went to many different places? There are a thousand questions and everyone has different questions and interests. Some people will say that all they want is to be near the family and help out as much as they can.

Retirement Vision – More than Money

Most people will focus on making sure they have enough money to retire, however, how can you answer that question if you do not have a vision. If your vision includes going on a lot of expensive trips, then your retirement funds better are rich enough to allow you to enjoy this kind of lifestyle otherwise there will be some disappointment.

Start by listing some of the things that you would like to do during retirement. List what you think will make you feel that you accomplished something in 10 years’ time. List those things that you want to be remembered by. Test your lists against your financial resources to make sure you have sufficient funds to accomplish those items on your list. If not you may have to begin setting priorities and decide which ones you want to consider keeping and those that you may have to downsize or abandon.

Huge Challenge

This is by far the biggest challenge that you will have as you plan for retirement and even if you are currently in retirement. It is never too late to take on this challenge of developing your own retirement vision.

How Much do You Really Need to Retire

How Much do You Really Need to RetireHow much do you really need to retire? This is the question that many millions of people are asking themselves as they approach the time in their lives where they might consider retiring. We wrote an extensive post about this subject back in March 2010. We felt that we should repeat some of the ideas once again this year to remind everyone that a little planning will go along way to answering this question. For the older post, click here.

Here is what you need to consider to be able to answer your question about much do you really need to retire:

  • Total income during retirement
  • Current Expenses
  • Loan and debt payments that you may have
  • Travel plans and other special expenses
  • Health expenses
  • Rainy day funds
  • Long term expenses – new car, house maintenance, etc
  • Your total savings and how quickly you want to draw down on these savings

How Much do You Really Need to Retire –

Gather Your Financial Data

This is a pretty general list, but if you gather this information and apply it to your personal situation, you will have a good start towards knowing what your financial situation will be during retirement.

Next, you need to assess what changes you may need to make based on finances. If you do not make enough income during retirement, then you are going to have to either generate more or cut somewhere. Tough choices, but it needs to be done to ensure that you and your family have the life you desire.

What Will You do during Retirement?

Next, you need to give some serious thought to what you will do with your time and how you will fill the hours. Basically, you are looking at 40 plus hours a week to fill including commuting time. You need things to do that you enjoy and will have fun at, as well as perhaps even challenging. For some people, they will need the social side as well if they are of a more social bent. Spend some time thinking about this part as well. If you are bored, chances are you will spend more money than you plan!

Discuss Your Plans with Your Family

This is the most important part actually. You have to gather your financial information together. You have thought about what you want to do during retirement. Now you need to find out if your family has the same ideas. If your spouse for example wants to travel the world and your finances indicate that this is not affordable, then some serious discussion is needed. But it is also about the small things as well, for example, hobbies, going back to work, contract work, etc

Maybe your spouse expects you to complete a number of projects around the home and this is way down your list of things to do. Discussion and compromise usually win the day and is needed for your retirement plan to work and for you to answer the question of “How much do you really need to retire”?

Get your Savings Started

Your savings can play a major part in your retirement plans in addition to pension income. Some people believe that you should not touch your savings principle but spend the income. This is definitely one scenario to consider and if the income from your savings is sufficient to top up your pension income, you are in good shape. However, with low-interest rates and markets fluctuating a great deal these days, you may have to begin drawing down on your principle. Many experts believe 4% is a reasonable number were as others believe that you can draw much faster. This really depends on your age, expected remaining years, and your tax situation as well. Lots to think about as you approach retirement.

The first step is to get started by reading articles like this one and then take the next step to collect all your information and begin planning!

Constructive comments appreciated. For more information, thoughts, and ideas about what to consider in retirement, click here.


How do You Know It is Time to Retire

How do You Know It is Time to RetireWhen is the best time to retire? The answer is that is really depends on many personal issues that each person must consider. Retirement is a very personal issue which for most people is emotional as well as extremely stressful as you try to understand whether you have sufficient funds to retire on. Most people have no idea and are unable to determine if they have enough to live on. They need help figuring this out and should have a good financial adviser to help them, one that they can trust and be able to consult with. Here is a list of some of them. We will discuss them in more detail later in the post:

  • Hate going to work
  • Health issues
  • Family requirements, such as grandchildren
  • Time to move on to enjoy life
  • Other work opportunities
  • Change your lifestyle

Time to Retire

We used to work until the magic age of 65, now people are retiring voluntarily at 50 or even younger and doing some of the things they always wanted to do. Some just move on to another job, so you cannot really call that retirement. Other work contracts and take time off during the year, so you might call this semi-retirement or transition to retirement.

If you are flexible with your living expenses or somehow have sufficient funds to live on, why not take time and do something different. For most people, the trigger is something that either happens on the job where they have just had enough, or there is something in their personal life that triggers retirement.

If you cannot stand going to work, then it is probably time to retire or at least change. You are not going to do as good a job and it will become more frustrating as your boss gets on your case. Don’t let this happen, take control of your life, and make your own decisions.

Questions You Should Ask

Before you make the big decision it is important to have some sort of plan and I am not talking about a golden parachute. Sure money is important, but so is what you are going to do with your time. One of my neighbors was quoted as saying he watches the grass grow since he is so bored. This is not good for him or his family. Here are some questions to ask yourself. Depending on your answers, you may need to really think about retirement and plan appropriately:

  • Do I have a life outside of my job?
  • How will this affect my family?
  • What else can I see myself doing?

Do I have a life outside of my job? Build a social life outside of and away from the job. Once you move on, after not too long a time, your colleagues at work will move on. Also, they are not available when you are.

How will this affect my family? What will your spouse do and are your kids old enough and do you have sufficient income to enjoy retirement. You cannot go from managing your employees to managing your family. This will generate all kinds of conflict which you do not need or want. Spend quality time with your kids, and your grandchildren!

What else can I see myself doing? You need to have a plan for what you will do with your time after you retire. Typically you need to fill 40 hours of work plus your commute time. Sitting watching TV is not a good idea and you cannot golf every day. You really need a broad mix of things which can include more golf, but also other hobbies and projects around the house. Even volunteering or part-time work or starting a business or whatever you may find enjoyable. The important thing is to do what you find interesting and enjoyable.

The best time to retire is when you can afford it and the life outside work looks much more interesting!

Choosing a Retirement Location

Choosing a Retirement LocationThis is one of our biggest issues, choosing a retirement location. Were do we retire to? Should we stay were we are or move somewhere where it is warm. What about earthquakes , tornadoes, fire and hurricanes?  There always seems to be a negative with places that are warm. There is the entire family issue. We do not want to be far away from the grand kids, while at the same time we need to live our lives too and enjoy the few years we have left. This is the dilemma we are facing along with many Americans and Canadians in choosing a retirement location.

Depending on what your priorities are, some locations will be better than others. Here is a list that we are currently struggling with. They are not in any order of priority since each person or family will rank these items with their own set of priorities. They will be different for everyone. You may want to assign you own priority to each item on the list.

Choosing a Retirement Location – Criteria

Here is our list that we are using to make a decision about choosing a retirement location:

  • Climate, warm weather.
  • Health care
  • Emergency health care
  • Personal safety
  • Proximity to the grand kids
  • Proximity to friends
  • Interesting things to do
  • 2nd Careers for some people
  • Volunteer organizations that you belong to
  • Financially affordable
  • Living costs
  • Sentimental ties to home and area you live in
  • Tax issues
  • Travel costs to return home to visit the family
  • Length if time you can stay in a foreign country

These are just a few of the things we are thinking about. In fact it is too many and the net result is that we will be paralyzed by too much indecision. We do like our home and neighborhood, however the winters are not fun and we enjoy the sunshine and warm temperatures of the south. We do not want to be around hurricanes, tornadoes and earth quakes or fires.  Millions of people deal with this every day, however when you come from an area were the main issue is cold winters, this seems minor compared to a hurricane.

Move to Another Country

One option is to go to another country. Health costs are a big issue as are landed immigrant status and tax issues. If you plan to move to another country, you must take into account these issues and have a well defined plan, particularly for health coverage. Changing countries these days is very complex and this alone will scare many people away from say moving from Canada to the US or Mexico.

Safety is another major issue for many people. The area you may be moving into must be safe for you and your family. While no place these days is truly safe, some are much better than others. Many people are opting for gated communities, however in my opinion this is an illusion. It keeps the rift raft out and tourists, but if a criminal really wants to get in, he or she will with no problems what so ever. It does stop the opportunists.

Quality of Life

It really comes down to quality of life, which for us means that family and friends are really important. This seems to be the highest priority for us, which means we will stay right were we are and enjoy our family and friends. Of course we will take longer trips and travel quite a bit, but our home base will be right were we are today other than perhaps down sizing to a smaller home.

For the time being we are going to stay right where we are and not move. We will rent condo’s in various locations to see if any of these locations would be interesting to us as a retirement  place to live. We can get to know the city, the people and whether we can be away from the kids that long. This is a compromise or perhaps a cop out as some people might put it, but this is what is working for us at the moment.

We would appreciate your ideas and thoughts about this subject of choosing a retirement location.



Transitioning into Retirement

Transitioning into RetirementMost people don’t want to retire to a life of just hitting a tiny white ball around a well-manicured lawn. They actually want to do something after they retire from their primary career. Trouble is, most people these days do not have a clue how to go about it. They have no idea what steps to take to figure out what to do next in their lives or transitioning into retirement. I just had a conversation this morning about this very subject with a good friend of mine.

He thinks that over the next five years he will either receive a buy-out or he will continue to work for at least five years more. The problem is that he is all consumed by work and has no idea of what he will do during retirement. Fortunately for my friend money is not an issue for him, however, he is thinking about taking steps to transition into retirement from a financial perspective, however in his case he is missing the main issue.  Financially he has decided that he and his wife are going to live on what he expects his retirement income to be. This is a good plan, however, the real issue is what is he going to do with his time!

Steps to Transitioning into Retirement

According to the experts, there are 5 stages that people go through when they are approaching retirement. Some go through these stages quite quickly, especially when they are laid off or receive a bonus package to leave. Others have time to plan and get ready for retirement both mentally and financially. Here are the five steps.

  • Acknowledging the need to transition
  • Discovering your potential
  • Discover your options.
  • Discovering your goals
  • Transforming “what’s next into what’s now

Each stage is linked to a specific purpose, as well as tasks, outcomes, and questions as you get comfortable with the idea of retirement or transitioning to something different in your life.

Acknowledging the need to transition

For some people, it is forced on them through a premature lay off or forced retirement. In this case, there may be also an angry phase that you must get through. For others, it is simply recognizing that it is time to begin planning your transition to the next phase. There is also disconnection from present employers and employees as you begin to separate in your mind from what you are currently doing to the next phase. It is time to figure out what comes next.

Sometimes there is tension, ambiguity, apprehension, and confusion that is associated with this stage as you try to figure out what it is you would like to do with the rest of your life.

Discovering your potential

Discovering your potential is all about figuring out what your strengths are and what the possibilities might be for your next career or stage in life. It is very personal and different for everyone.  Explore what you enjoy, explore what you need to do to be satisfied, explore what you want your relationship with your family should be, including spouse, sons and daughters, and grandchildren. You may also want to evaluate your resources in terms of finances, but also in terms of pf physical health and demands by other family members.

Discovering your options

This stage focuses more on testing some of your ideas and options. If you thought you always wanted to golf every day then try it out and see how that goes. If you thought you always wanted to travel do that. The important thing is to try out or test what you feel is the right option for you and try lots of things until you find something that really works for you. Find out what fits and what works for you over a period of time. Remember this is a transition over time and not a flash change in your lifestyle.

Discovering your goals

Once you have an idea of what it is you want to do, it is time to set goals and objectives to help you meet your plans. What resources are you going to need? What are the next steps and who do you need to talk to for assistance in order to complete your goals.

Transitioning into Retirement – Transform what’ next into what’s now

This is the implementation and engagement phase. This is where you actually make it happen. Along the way, you may fine-tune your activities, your goals, etc, Which is fine and you learn more about yourself and your new life. But the main focus of this stage is really turning all of your plans into reality.

Knowing that you are in one phase or another can be helpful. Or that you are cycling between phases as you figure out what you are going to do is actually helpful to many people. While there is a lot of ambiguity and confusion, at least you know that this is normal.

My friend has barely started this exercise. He is in phase one. Because he has begun to recognize that he needs to make the transition and begin planning. This is a good first step. However, he has a long way to go yet. If he suddenly finds that he is downsized, he may not be ready. He will struggle somewhat for a while as he is forced to speed up his planning.

Your comments are welcome, any advice you can provide to my friend about this subject and retirement, in general, is much appreciated.

Will My Money Last Through Retirement

This is the key question for many middle-aged people and seniors who are contemplating joining the retired ranks, “will my money last through my retirement years”? The baby boomers are retiring and we see various statistics that show that some people have lots of money saved while others know they will have to work well past the normal retirement age just to buy food and live somewhat comfortably!

We recently came across a post on CNN Money recently that really caught our attention and although we are not republishing it here, we are reposting an image that was in the article since it was so clear about the issues we are all wondering about.

Will My Money Last Through Retirement

Will My Money Last Through Retirement

How Much Money do You Have

The first assumption is that the retired person has $500,000 when they retire at age 65. The column on the left assumes that you withdraw 4% each year. Which is only $20,000 and concludes that you have an 80% chance that your money will last until age 95.  They do not state what assumptions were made regarding income rates and stock market performance.

Option 2 assumes that you take an extra $10 k out for the first 5 years, with market drops assumed in the far right option. While the percentage probability decreases that you will make it to 95, it also assumes that you must take a spending drop after age 70. This may be a reasonable assumption since most of us will be less active after age 70. This is part of the normal aging process. Why not spend our money while we can enjoy it is the motto of these two plans!

Some people would say they were loaded if they had $500,000 in savings. They would not spend a second more thinking about the issue. While others would feel that they were vastly underfunded. They would continue working and saving until they either had what they felt they needed or were forced to stop work due to poor health.

How Long Will Retirement Funds Last

The answer is that all of us must figure out what we need on an annual basis to live on. Some can get by very nicely on $30,000. While other people feel that they would need at least $100,000 a year to live. Don’t forget to also take into account all of your income from other pensions and old-age benefits. If you are happy today living on $30,000 chances are you will be satisfied with the same amount while you are retired. Figure out how much you need to live on each year. Then figure out how much you need to save to generate this income.

Assume that you will withdraw 4% each year. Also that you need $30,000 a year from your savings to add to any pension income. Divide 30,000  by 4% to get $750,000 of savings that you will need using the 4% option. You still have an 80% chance of making it to 95 with sufficient income to live on.

This is a good exercise for anyone thinking of retiring and living off their savings plus their pensions. Whether it is a company pension and/or old age pensions.  If you do not have a pension, then you must rely totally on your savings to live on into retirement. On the other hand, if you have an excellent pension, you may not have to be concerned at all about how you spend your savings. This is a very personal decision. Every situation will be different for every person or couple thinking of retiring.

Build Your Own Retirement Model

Personally, I built a spreadsheet with my age, my savings, and an assumed growth rate every year. Then I added an assumed withdrawl rate every year. Once the model was built I can easily change the percentages to look at the impact of various scenarios. This is an excellent tool, It brings to light what I needed to do to develop a winning situation. One that would ensure that not only do I have enough money. But I also identified the steps I need to take to improve my situation.

If you are not familiar with spreadsheets ask a friend who can set it up for you and show you how to manipulate the variables. It is definitely worth the time it takes and you will have peace of mind as well.

Feel free to write us a comment or two about your retirement dilemma and what your solution is to deal with your concerns.

Retirement Surprises

Retirement SurprisesThe biggest issues that new retirees tend to underestimate are not the standard things that everyone thinks about, but the surprises that come along that we either did not think about or did not plan for.  They are retirement surprises. We have assembled a list of items that may be standard to some people, and surprises to others. If yours is not on the list let us know by adding a comment. We will add it to our list for our readers.

Retirement Surprises

  • Assuming that spending will drop after retirement
  • Spending actually rose for many retirees
  • More travel
  • Travel to see the grand kids
  • Gifts for the grand kids
  • Health issues
  • Higher inflation
  • Living longer than the averages
  • Not tracking your expenses and savings
  • Car expenses and repairs
  • House expenses and repairs
  • Support of family members

Retirement Surprises – Plans Go Awry

No matter how much you plan, chances are that something will intervene to get in the way of your financial plan. Remember you are planning for the future which is a combination of some known factors and many unknowns that will crop up.

A common assumption is that you will only need 70% to 80% of your income after retirement. True you need less clothing since you are not dressing for work and you do not have to buy lunches and incur travel expenses to get to work. People tend to forget that they now have all of this time on their hands and typically what happens is that they spend money! It may be on travel or hobbies, but is money they did not spend pre-retirement to the same levels.

Travel To See Family

Even traveling to see the family involves expenses that you did not perhaps have while you were working. Grandparents often purchase lots of gifts for the kids as well.

You may be traveling more often to see them and doing side trips as well. Also you may be adding baby supplies including cribs, toys etc to your own home for when the kids come to visit.


This is a difficult one to deal with. There will be spikes in the inflation rate and at other times almost zero inflation. Over the years, the average has been around 3%, which is a good number to include in your planning for retirement.  However you will need to adjust your estimates and savings level required every year to reflect the inflation levels and the overall cost increases for the things that you are interested in. For example if you like to go on cruises and they increase in cost every year by 5%, then you may want to account for this higher than average increase.

How Long Will you Live

People are living longer and longer. Start with the age that your parents lived, assuming that they lived an average life and did not die from accidents or other reasons. Add at least 10 years to your plan to adjust for the fact that we all are living longer and are healthier well into our retirement years.

Use a retirement planning tool to estimate your income, savings and expenses to assess if you will have sufficient funds available for your retirement. It is a good idea to stress test your plan by adding one or all of the following surprises:

  • Live longer
  • Higher inflation rate
  • Large Surprise expense

Hang with Like Minded Friends

This may seem silly at first, however if you follow this advice, you will spend time with people who have the same attitudes about spending money, about enjoying life and about extending their retirement years.

If you hang around with people who tend to spend a lot more than you do, next thing you know you will be spending this money as well and may find yourself short of funds in retirement years. This is a hard fact of life, but it is something to be aware of.

Enjoy Retired Life

enjoy-retired-lifeEnjoy Retired Life? There are many studies that have been completed to try to figure out what helps to keep retired people happy and be able to enjoy retired life. After you boil away all of the words and statistics there seems to be several things that seem to emerge as key elements to enjoying retired life. These include and we must say here that they are not in any particular order:

  • Having sufficient money for your desired lifestyle
  • Matching your lifestyle with what really interest you
  • Being close to a supportive and loving family
  • Enjoying close friends and family
  • Having an active life in terms of social as well as activity
  • Having a rough plan that evolves with retirement

These are pretty general items and some people may rank some higher than others. Again the list above is not ranked because each of these items will have a different level of importance for each person. One couple we know has different views between them. The grandmother just wants to stick around home and see her children and grand children every week. she cannot get enough of them and does not want to go on trips. Her spouse on the other hand, loves his kids and grand kids, but wants to go on trips and travel a bit. He enjoys his family but occasionally wants a break. They will need to work this out between then and find a solution that works for them.

Concerns about Retired Life

It is only natural to have concerns about retirement. Most people are concerned about retirement however, it’s important to understand this is likely the fear of the unknown, which can often be an unfounded fear.

The best approach to deal with concerns is to talk about them with people who can assist you with these concerns. Whether it is a family member or a financial adviser discuss your concerns and develop a plan to deal with these concerns. Quickly the unknown will become known and you can approach retirement with confidence.

Regrets about Retired Life

When it comes to regrets, many people have regrets and these regrets manifest themselves as you get closer to retirement. If you are young and reading this post, now is the time to give some thought to these issues and do something about them to avoid them as you get older. If you are retiring now, why not address some of these issues as best you can to improve your retirement and enjoy it more.

Some regrets among retirees include:

  • Not taking better care of themselves;
  • Not starting to save earlier for retirement; and
  • Not traveling enough
  • The main regret of pre-retirees was not starting to save earlier for retirement .

Successful Attributes about Retired Life

The vast majority of retirees who say they are having a successful retirement indicate the following are very important to that success:

  • Biggest secret to retirement success being realistic expectations
  • Having saved enough money
  • Good planning ; and
  • Staying involved with people.

Having a realistic plan about retirement is tough to do. Usually there is a spouse involved. Both parties must face retirement together with similar plans. Other wise you risk disagreement and conflict that will get in the way of your retirement success.

Being retired, we can say that all of these ideas are excellent and something that we all should pay attention to. There is one more which we alluded to in the previous paragraph. That is excellent communication with your spouse. Which leads to shared goals and realistic objectives with your spouse. Sometimes you just need to talk things out and work them out until you find a solution that works for them.

We appreciate your comments and ideas about this post and retirement in general. Our readers will appreciate the suggestions and help that your comments provide.


Age 60-Do You Have Enough for Retirement

Do You Have Enough for RetirementOk, this is a question that everyone wants to know the answer to. Do you have enough for retirement? The answer is different for every person, since it depends on their financial situation, their pension plan if they have one, and their savings in registered plans and nonregistered plans, and whether they own their own house or not.

Let’s assume you are 60 and thinking about retirement and wondering if you have enough savings set aside. To start with if you are 60 today and in relatively good health, there is a good chance you will live for another 30 years. If you work to age 65, then you will have 25 years that you will need to live on your retirement funds, pension, and social security benefits.

Average Account Balances

According to recent studies, consumers in their 60s had an average account balance of $144,000 at the end of 2009 savings. This is a very low number and may not take into account savings in non-registered plans, homes, cottages, etc.

If you are married and your spouse also has some savings, then you might be a bit better off, so before you get really paranoid about retirement savings, make sure you take into account these other factors. Where will your income come from? Here is a list of items to consider for both you and your spouse:

  • Company pension
  • Social security
  • Registered plans ( 401k’s, RRSP, etc)
  • Non registered savings
  • Sale of cottages, 2nd homes, etc
  • Sale of investment properties
  • part-time jobs

Complete your own inventory to assess what you may have in terms of annual income based on the list above. If we missed some, please let us know by leaving a comment on the blog at the end of this post.

If you find that you do not have enough savings and/or income, here are several steps you can take to begin rectifying the problem. Note that you are starting very late if you are 60, but better than not at all, right?

Do You Have Enough for Retirement – Build a bigger nest egg

If you are in your 60s and all you’ve got saved is $200,000 in a registered plan, you may not have enough funds to live on.

Using a common rule-of-thumb withdrawal rate, you would withdraw 4% of your $200,000 nest egg in the first year of retirement, or $8,000. That amount is likely to be inadequate. If you do not have other sources, then this amount is not enough and you really do not want to touch your principle if you can avoid it. What to do?

Reducing consumption now and saving more is the only real answer we can give. This is all about your personal comfort and quality of life during retirement and it is important that you take control of it now to try to make some level of quality of life work for you that is acceptable.

The rule of thumb currently is that you need about 30 times in assets of the initial withdrawals during the first year of retirement. For example, if you need $50,000 per year indexed to inflation starting at age 65 until age 95, then you need $1,500,000 in your portfolio at age 65. This is a far cry from the $200,000 average savings that many people have. If you can reduce the $50,000 by accounting for pension, social security, and other income, the amount of savings you will need will decrease accordingly.

Check your asset allocation

It is time to be conservative with your investments and focus on generating income from your investments. You cannot risk investing in speculative stocks and you need the income. Triple A bonds and blue chip stocks with a history of paying their dividends and increasing their dividends year over year are good things to consider.

Diversify your savings. Do not put all f your savings in one investment and do not chase that too good to be a true, sounding investment. You cannot afford to lose everything in something that is very risky. Speak to several advisers and form your own opinion. Don’t follow someone’s advice blindly.

If you are concerned about risk, GICs are the safest investment, however, they do not pay very much in terms of income. You will be able to sleep at night!

Find out what your limits are in terms of contributions to your retirement plan and contribute the maximum every year until retirement to maximize your savings for retirement.

Do You Have Enough for Retirement – Delay retirement

Now, this is an ugly thought, especially if you are planning to retire shortly. However, if you do not have savings and income, you may not have any alternative. Delaying retirement for several years can make a huge difference in terms of spending, savings, and your own well-being. You also delay the draw down on your savings as well which will benefit you over the life of your retirement.

Many people enjoy getting out every day to mingle with people and it gives them something to do.

Semi-retirement might also be an option for some folks. Working three days a week for example still generates some income. But also allows more time for you to explore your interests and spend time with the grand lids. It also keeps you sharp in terms of the business world as well. They say that you need to exercise the body as well as the mind to lead a fit life well into retirement.

Delay taking Social Security

Taking social security early comes with a price. Most plans as well as pension plans penalize the retiree by reducing the amount of money they pay out each year if they retire early. Every year you delay taking your pension or social security benefits will provide you with an increase in your payments, which can be a huge benefit in later years.

One last point to consider if you do plan to take your pension and social security early. If you are also planning to work, your taxes could claw back some of these benefits depending on how much you make.

Check with an investment adviser or pension specialist to assist you in any of these decisions.