Ramp Up Your Retirement
As you get closer to your retirement, you start to think practically about the steps of your retirement transition. A to-do list emerges of tasks to try and accomplish, as well as things to consider. If haven’t retired but are getting ready to, here’s three things you should think about.
Mind Your Money
Now is the time to pour all you can into your retirement savings. As an example, say you direct $15,000 annually into your workplace retirement account from age 55 to 65. If it returns 6%, you’ll see $48,000 growth off those $150,000 in salary deferrals. An additional $198,000 sounds nice, but keep in mind that your annual contribution ceiling rises to $24,000 starting at age 50. If you can contribute $24,000 to that retirement account returning 6% across those ten years instead of $15,000, you will have more than $316,000 for your “second act”—turning that additional $90,000 of investment into an extra $119,000 of savings.
But don’t just focus on growth; whittling down your debt should also be a goal. About 30% of older adults have outstanding home loans and the average household headed up by seniors aged 65-69 carries nearly $7,000 in monthly credit card charges.
And take a look at your risk levels. Are your investments too bullish? It may be time to reduce the amount of equities in your portfolio. Thanks to the recent rally on Wall Street, there may be a higher percentage of your invested assets in stocks than you assume, and that could expose you to more risk than you prefer.
A Hepatitis C Test Might Be Wise
You’ve probably seen the commercials lately, but don’t disregard the risk of Hepatitis C. According to the CDC and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, about 75% of the 3 million Americans now infected with the virus were born between 1945 and 1965.
Hep C has traditionally been tied to intravenous drug use resulting in a lot of folks dismissing the possibility of having it. But the chances may not be so remote. It is a blood-borne virus, and if you received any blood transfusions or had an organ transplant prior to 1992, you have an increased risk of carrying it. An inexpensive, basic blood test can determine its presence, and while treatment can be expensive and outside the scope of insurers, it’s still worth it to find out. Too many people only learn they have Hep C when they start to suffer from irreparable liver damage caused by an advanced case.
Start Strategizing For Social Security
File & suspend is gone, so if you were looking to legally double-dip from Uncle Sam, that time has passed. However, the longer you can wait to file, the better it is for you. If you wait to file at 66, your take will be about 33% MORE than if you filed at 62. And if you can wait until age 70 to collect, you’ll get 33% more than if you collected at 66, or a whopping 76% more than if you collected at 62. Those ketchup guys were right, the best things DO come to those who wait.