It used to be that when I thought about retirement my focus was on how much I was saving, whether I was getting the maximum match I could from my employer and as long as those numbers were good, I didn’t give it much more thought.
Now I’m in my late fifties my focus has shifted. Now, I think about what retirement will actually mean, what it will look like and what sort of lifestyle my retirement savings will support. And yes, it’s a worry.
I’ve tried using calculators that project how much you need in savings to support your lifestyle and frankly have found them to be depressing and discouraging: the usual gap between the projections and my savings is so large it’s impossible to close so, “Why bother?”
I know that approach isn’t helpful … I know from my divorce work that the response is about fear and the best way I know to handle fear is to find out more information. So I was excited by the opportunity to preview an upcoming Public Television program Don’t Worry, Retire Happy™ .
The program’s philosophy is that most working Americans do HAVE the time, financial resources and courage to retire happy – we just need to figure out how and there are seven steps that host, Tom Hegna details. For sure, retirement these days isn’t the same as it was in our parents’ and grandparents’ eras: it’s more of a blurred line and we probably won’t reach a magical date and suddenly be retired. However, watching the program gave me a framework and some workable strategies for creating more a concrete plan.
One of those strategies is social security claiming strategies. I’ve heard about these a couple of times now through financial planners and know enough now to understand that the timing of when you start to claim benefits has a significant impact on the payout amount. Delaying the benefit as long as you can makes sense. If that’s not be an option, there are still other strategies for managing your retirement.
The message that Tom Hegna wants to get across is that Americans can define their own retirement, the way they want.
If you’re going through divorce and are concerned about what your financial settlement will mean for your retirement security or if you’re already divorced and are concerned about your retirement income planning, watching the Don’t Worry, Retire Happy™ TV special is a good investment of your time. Check your Public Television station for the schedule.
You can also visit the website to order the Don’t Worry, Retire Happy DVD and companion book.
This blog post on “Don’t Worry, Retire Happy™”: The 7 Steps to Retirement Security”, is sponsored by State Farm®. I accepted the opportunity to participate and want my readers to know that the opinions and statements expressed in this post are completely my own.