Can I Afford to Retire Now?


This is a question plaguing most baby boomers today.  For those on the cusp of retiring, statistics show they plan on working longer.  For those who have decided to retire, the decision may carry long-term consequences.

If you have a 401K plan, the maximum annual contribution you can make in 2009 is $16,500.  However, if you are over the age of 50 you can contribute a total of $22,000.

If you have an IRA, you can contribute up to $5,000, and for individuals 50 years or older, another $1000 can be added.

The problem with retiring now is that since the market downturn, many people lost a hefty sum of money from their 401K.  So the question is:  How much do you currently have available in your 401K and can you live on the pension and retirement funds during this recession?

The only way to determine this is to go over your financial accounts to assess how much is available and how much you will need to live comfortably.  If you find that you cannot afford retirement now, you may need to postpone it for two to three years.  Since we know that this recession may last well past 2009, it would be a prudent step in your favor to wait.

In addition, if you decide to retire at 62 years of age you can delay receipt of the Social Security benefits until you reach age 66.  Why is this important?  The full benefit at age 66 is approximately $1900.  However, if you decide to collect earlier you can lose $500 per month.

Also consider that if you postpone collecting Social Security, there is an 8% credit for each year you do not receive a check up to the age of 70.  The benefit at age 70 would be approximately $2500.  Therefore, the difference between collecting benefits at age 66 and 70 is $1000 a month.

Yes, there is a lot to consider before taking that last step to retirement.  For one woman who retired at age 57, the loss of pension income was significant.  Moreover, her 401K is far less than what it would have been if she had worked an additional three to four years.

Before you decide to retire, make sure that you have enough money saved to see you through this recession and beyond.  If not, you may find that retirement is not at all what you had envisaged.  In fact, you may have to find another job after retirement just to supplement your pension.

These are difficult times.  Weigh all the factors; think it through carefully and soberly before you sign on the dotted line.


Retirment planning tips: 5 Ways to Survive a Recession


At first no one wanted to say the “R” word, now it seems every one is trying to say it as much as possible.  It’s disheartening to read about layoff after layoff but you want to be hopeful for the future.  You want to hope that President Elect Obama can lead the country to a brighter future.

Until that happens, here are 5 tips to help you survive the recession that Obama has inherited:

1.  Pay down your debts and look at your investments.  Cut up all credit cards and save one for emergencies only.  Put away enough money to last for a minimum of 18 months.  Open a money market account or a CD.  If you have stocks, don’t sell; ride the tide.  Continue contributing to your 401K plan.  If you are currently contributing to a Variable A Annuity, change it to the Fixed Fund Program which yields 8.25%.

2.  Sit down with your family and revisit the household budget.  Make cuts where necessary, especially in the miscellaneous category.  Refrain from buying unnecessary items such ordering take-out food, magazines, lottery scratches, and other incidental items that add up.  If you tend to dine out once a week, reduce that to once a month.  Bring your own lunch to work.  Use public transportation when you can and/or carpool to work with a friend or neighbor.  Try to complete all outside errands and grocery shopping in one day.

3.  If you have items at home that are gathering dust in the attic or garage, consider selling them on eBay.  Do you have any clothing that is new or slightly used?  If so, you may want to take them to a consignment shop wherein you can sell them for a commission.

4.  Do you love to write?  Can you spare a few hours a day online?  If so, you can earn money writing for blogs and websites.  Webmasters do not have the time to create articles for their websites or blogs, and having a good writer on hand to fulfill that need not only helps them but can also supplement your income substantially.

5.  Look into applying for a second job.  Ask your boss if there is additional work requiring overtime.  If you have teens at home, perhaps they can apply for part-time work after school or on weekends, or assist neighbors by babysitting or dog-walking.

We will all have to buckle down on expenditures during this difficult time.  More importantly, do not panic.  Just do the best you can for you and your family and we will eventually see light at the end of this long, dark tunnel.

We can get through this just like they did back in the Great Depression days.  The financial habits they learned – frugality and thrift – are making a comeback and can make it easier for us to survive this financial crisis we find ourselves in.


Calculate your retirement income needs


While you can calculate your retirement on your own, the best way to obtain an accurate forecast is to seek the services of a financial planner.

A financial planner can be objective about your finances.  He or she can advise you as to the approximate amount of your pension based on the contributions you have made over the years.

Moreover, they will probably advise you to begin contributing the maximum amount of pension contributions the closer you get to retirement age.  This is significant because it can boost your pension earnings more than you know.

In order to receive the best advice, you have to do a little calculating of your own.  The planner may ask when you plan to retire, whether you plan to move to another state, travel, pursue higher education, and what type of lifestyle you hope to maintain.

You also have to take into account your healthcare expenses.  For example, a city worker may have a healthcare plan such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield and GHI (Group Health Incorporated).  This type of insurance is worth approximately $12,000 a year and is a necessary component that can alleviate expenses resulting from ill health.

If you would like to calculate how much you will need for retirement, there are many online calculators you can use.  One is located at: How much you need to retire calculator

You simply enter your current annual income, 70% post-retirement income, expected annual pension, expected annual Social Security payment, current age, age at which you will retire, and life expectancy.  Note these are approximate figures.  The figure of 70% is the amount of your income that one would need to retire comfortably.

Once the calculations are made, you can then proceed to increase your pension contribution, if applicable, and/or begin a savings program outlined by your financial planner that will yield a high rate of interest and allow you to retire knowing there will always be money available to you.

If you are years away from retirement, calculating your pension income now will give you a clear and concise measure of what to expect.  Here is an example of an individual who did not plan well for retirement.  A man retired at age 57.  He contributed less than 10% to his pension and the result is that he now receives under $1000 a month.  Although he did consult a financial planner, the pressure of the job was such that he had to retire early for health reasons.  He is currently working full-time in another position.



Stock gains of 84.79% within 3 days…

I’m sending you a quick note right now, because I have something very important to tell you about.

In fact, right before posting this, I just called round most of my own family telling them about this website.

You see I was surfing the Internet the other day researching trading stocks and I came across an interesting website.

It’s about this email stock picks newsletter, and each week this guy sends out a stock pick…

And the average gain so far has been 84.79% within 3 days of the pick being made.

Anyhow I don’t want to tell you too much about this service, because it costs $12,500 to join the newsletter!

But I did a little further research, and after finding some interesting forum discussions, someone pointed me to another website.

You see the owner of this newsletter (who is the stock market genius who makes the picks) recognized he had a problem…

Even though subscribers of his newsletter are able to almost double their trading money each and every week…

The only way he was getting new subscribers, (at $12,500 a pop) was when his subscribers made recommendations to friends and family.

So he thought about this problem and came up with what I believe is an ingenious solution:

At the link below, you’ll be able to type in your name and email address.

For the next 4 weeks after, you’ll receive one stock pick per week (the same pick sent to his subscribers)…

And you’ll be able to see that his service is worth the cost… As you’ll be watching, live, each week as his actual stock picks almost double.


These stocks can often rise over 100% within a matter of days.

In fact after being a newsletter member for 3 weeks, I invested on the 4th stock pick… and made $1876.00 (pure profit).

Which is precisely why I just rang round all of my family telling them about this website.

Oh but there’s one more thing before I give you the address, there is a limit to the number of the newsletter placements.

Maybe David (who runs the newsletter) will have closed shop, by the time you read this email. If so, don’t worry as he’ll allow you to join the waiting list.

Click here for your 4 free stock picks

Best Regards,

David Lindberg

Are you saving enough for retirement?


The 2008 Retirement Confidence Survey indicates that more people are concerned about their retirement, the economy, and health care.

Most people do not have enough saved up to retire on:

Most savings levels are modest— Forty-nine percent of workers report total savings and investments (not including the value of their primary residence or any defined benefit plans) of less than $50,000. Twenty-two percent of workers and 28 percent of retirees say they have no savings of any kind.”


Can you live on retirement savings of only $50,000?

Probably not.

If you retire at 55 or 65 and expect to live 20-30 years, you’re going to need a lot more than $50,000 to retire on.  Social Security is not going to provide you with a comfortable retirement.

How much do you need to save for retirement?

There is no magic number that will work for everyone.  However, you need to add at least another zero to the $50,000 amount of retirement savings.  $500,000 is a good start.  Most will need up to a million or more.

How the heck are you going to save up to a million dollars by the time you retire?

How the heck do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time.

You need to start, and start now.

The goal is to save at least 10% of your gross income.  Do an automatic deduction from your paycheck and put that into your 401k at work or into an IRA.

Each year as you get a raise or bonus, increase the amount of your automatic deduction.

It’s easier to save for retirement when you don’t have debt to worry about.

Take the steps you need to get out of debt so you can devote more of your income to the future instead of paying for the past.

Work more hours at work, take voluntary overtime, start a second job.  There are many ways to increase your income or supplement your income.  But you won’t find them by watching TV when you get home from work.

If you take the small steps now to start saving for your retirement, you may actually get the chance to retire when you turn 65.  If not, you may be spending many more years at that thankless, unrewarding job of yours.

You don’t want a gruesome retirement do you?

Setup the automatic deduction, enroll in your 401k program at work, get out of debt, increase your income and save, save, save.


How to Recession Proof Your Bank Account

It’s happening.

People are losing their homes, losing their jobs, and losing their life savings.

Every where you look, there are signs that we are about to enter a massive recession, and things are only going to get worse.

The solution?

Create income that continues to pour in, even in the worst of times.

No matter what happens, people still need information. The types of information they need or want may change, but the need itself never goes away.

That’s why I’m recommending that anyone who hasn’t already started their own online info business, needs to do so immediately.

The Baby Boomers Guide to Online Income will show you EXACTLY how to do it…

Click here to learn more

…and you don’t even need to be a Baby Boomer.

While the Baby Boomers Guide to Online Income was written for people facing retirement and the uncertainty of social security, its down to earth, proven techniques will work for almost anyone, in any situation.

Here are some questions I received during the last day on the program…

Q. “Who’s the author, and why should we believe what he says?”

A. GREAT question: The author is Nick Marks, and he beat out MAJOR competition to become The 2007 Internet Marketer of the Year.

Click here to see a photo of him accepting his award from Russell Brunson…

Click here to learn more

Obviously he’s not some newbie marketer selling rehashed info he copied from someone else (who probably copied it from someone else..)

Nick is someone you can trust to provide you with honest, relevant step-by-step material that flat out WORKS.

Don’t take my word for it, read the testimonials on his site…

Click here to read more

And there’s no fluff or filler in his e-book. Just straight-forward, honest, tested, and proven strategies for earning a steady online income.

Q. “I understand why he’s including the other bonuses, but what’s up with Bonus #1? Why is that included with this program?”

A. For two reasons: First, you get to see how Nick got started making money online, and learn all his secrets of how he did it.

Second, you may want to use it to build a very lucrative second or third income for yourself.

Click here for more info

Q. “I don’t have a website. Will this work for me?”

A. Nick actually includes a FREE website when you purchase the Baby Boomers Guide to Online Income.

It’s already set up with affiliate marketing and custom blog marketing. Plus it’s search engine optimized for traffic pulling page rank in the top search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc.)

Q. “What if I need help? What if I have a question?”

A. Nick is also going to give you 30 minutes of expert phone consultation… for FREE. You dial the number you’re provided, and you can speak directly to one of Nick’s top marketing experts. These pros have years of experience, so they can quickly and expertly answer your questions and give you any guidance you may need. And you get this expert help for free!

Bottom line, if you want a business that is recession proof, that will earn you money now, next year, and every year, check out…

Click here for more info

Making money ISN’T just for Baby Boomers!


P.S. The economy is in serious trouble. I don’t know how bad things will get, but the time to get ready is right NOW.

And the best / fastest way I know of to get your business online and making money is with Nick Marks and The Baby Boomers Guide to Online Income.

Click here to avoid a retirement nightmare

How are you going to save for retirement if you have debt?


I read this quote the other day:

“Financial counselors find a growing number of older Americans, in or nearing retirement, mired in debt and seeking debt counseling with little or no money set aside for retirement.”

How can you possibly save for retirement if you have a mountain of debt to pay off that takes up most of your current income?

There are several ways to get out of debt. You can talk to a debt management company like Credit Solutions which is one the biggest debt settlement companies around. They can help you reduce your debt and have you debt free in 12-36 months. And then once you have all your credit card debt paid off, you can work to getting your house paid off and fully funding your retirement plan.

The best scenario is for you to be debt free when you retire. You want to have as little expenses as possible so your money will last you for 20-30 years.

Most people have not save up anything for their retirement and expect the government to bail them out. Unfortunately, we don’t get bailed out like Bear Stearns by the Fed if we make some financial mistakes worth billions. We have to make do with a small Social Security check and live on a fixed income.

You need to get out of debt in order to save for your retirement.

The future will not look so rosy if you still have to make credit card payments when you turn 100 years old.

Get help paying off your debt and start saving for retirement.


The Big Investment Mistakes Made In Retirement


I wanted to share a good article I found about investing mistakes in retirement.

Taking too much risk with your investment: We all want the highest interest rate possible and the lowest risk possible – unfortunately these are competing objectives. High rates always spell high risk BUT high risk does not always spell high rates. You should know that risk and reward are traveling companions: if you want low risk you’ve got to settle for low rates and if you want the chance of making high rates you’ve got to accept high risk.

Most people work a lifetime to save enough so they can have a comfortable retirement – the last thing in the world they want is to lose their retirement nest egg in bad investments. So why is it that most retirees have all their money in mutual funds, stock, bonds, a diversified portfolio of securities, variable annuities, etc.? All these things carry the risk of loss – yeah I know that “in the long run” you’ll do a lot better than with a safe money alternative. BUT, in retirement you don’t have a long run. A great economist once said, “in the long run we’re all dead”.

In the closing years of the 1900’s and up until 2002 the stock market was roaring upward – would-be-retirees were making loads of paper profits and looking forward to retirement next year. Out of the blue came the bust and a market meltdown – over the next two years the S&P lost half its value, the DJIA sank like a rock and the poor NASDAQ stocks lost 80% of their value (that’s where most of the dot.coms were traded). Instead of retiring, or continuing to be retired, many “risk taker” had to change plans or go back to work as Walmart greeters, taxi drivers or whatever they could get in the depressed employment environment. Can this ever happen again?

Look around you: sub-prime problems, foreclosures shore to shore, the dollar losing ground at an alarming rate, inflation picking up, real estate activity grinding to a halt, economic recession being mentioned often, bank stocks losing half their value, major corporation turning to China and the UAE for capital infusion to stay solvent, record federal deficits, commodity prices shooting upward and lots more of gloom and doom. I don’t want to be negative…but there are storm clouds gathering and you don’t have an risk umbrella if you’ve put your retirement money in the market.

The first big mistake retirees (or would-be-retirees in the red zone before retirement) make is they have taken too much risk with them retirement money.

What can you do? Find a financial adviser quick if you don’t know how to lower your risk without one. Examine every retirement investment you have and make sure the money you’ll be using in the next 10-15 years is in rock solid saving places like bank CDs (for use in years 1 – 5) or fixed annuities (for use in years 6 – 15). If you don’t like either for-the-first-half-of-your-retirement money, you can continue to keep your money at risk and hope for the best.

Putting your money only in short-term bank CDs: Many of you have all your retirement money in 6-months CDs because you want safety and are afraid you’ll need it all very soon. The good news is that you’ve got safety and ready access…the bad news is that this is costing you a king’s ransom.

Generally, the longer you commit you money the higher the rate of interest you’ll earn – that’s why 5-year CDs pay more than 3-months CDs. You should space, or ladder, your money so that it comes due at about the same time you think you’ll need it. Yes, you may guess wrong sometime but the penalty will be a lot less than if you always keep your money short and liquid.

Let’s say you now have $150,000 in short-term bank CDs that you’ve earmarked for retirement. You think you’ll need about $15,000 a year of this money to cover expenses above your Social Security, pension (if you have one) and other income. Here how a CD ladder could work. Put $15,000 in a money market account (can get anytime you want without penalty), $15,000 in a one, two, three and four year bank CD. You now set so that every year for the next five you’ll have access to $15,000 (plus interest which will keep you up with inflation) to cover your needs.

What do you do with the other $75,000? Why not look into a five year tax-deferred fixed annuity? You’ll pay no taxes on the interest you earn in the annuity until you withdraw it (that means triple compounding: interest on principal, interest on interest and interest on money you would have paid in taxes) and you’ll have rock solid safety because your principal and interest is guaranteed by a major insurance company. The same insurance company that insures you home, life, health, business, car and everything else of value. Oh yes, you’ll probably get a much better earnings rate than if you put the money in a bank CD.

Yes, you will lose the opportunity to hit it out of the park with a high flying stock your brother-in-law told you about but you’ll also avoid the risk that goes with that high flying stock. When you annuity matures in five years you an annuitize (take an income) over the next five years or do another 5-year bank CD ladder.

Retirement is a time to keep what you’ve got rather than trying to double or triple your money in a short period of time. But, you can err by being too safe and too liquid with everything in short-term bank CDs. Retirement is also a time to reassess your risk and make sure you can afford the worse case outcome. That’s why money in the market don’t make sense unless you’ve got a lot more money than you’ll need for retirement.

If you think the market can’t turn around and bite you, check out the following links:

Also check out my blog:

Thanks for reading and have a great day!


Top retirement planning tips to help you plan a better retirement


I was reading about retirement planning and came across this article with 11 tips to help you for retirement in 2008.

3 of the ones I liked are:

8. Investments

Those who invest in mutual funds in taxable accounts
should check whether they are reinvesting the capital gains and
dividend distributions back into the very same mutual fund. If so,
Benedict suggests a different tack. Those investors would “be better
served investing the distributions into a more tax-efficient mutual
fund or other investment,” he said.

One reason: Investors who reinvest distributions
sometimes have to pay the income due on the distribution by selling the
very mutual fund to raise cash. That can be even more unpleasant when
the share price of the fund is below what the investor originally paid
for the shares.

Many fund companies distribute their gains this time
of year. “Find out who has or has not distributed for the year before
you buy a fund,” said Benedict. “You don’t want to be paying taxes on a
distribution from a fund that you just bought.”

9. Don’t retire yet

People should carefully consider at what age they
plan to retire and should understand how the age of claiming Social
Security will affect the size of their monthly check, said Andy
Eschtruth of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. “The
bottom line is that the decision of when to leave the work force has a
tremendous impact on retirement security.”

10. Working in retirement

Art Koff, author of “Invent Your Retirement” and
founder of, said “Anyone with an accounting
background who is retired and is possibly interested in working in tax
preparation during tax season should contact the local office of the
major tax preparers or any independent firm that does tax preparation
as they start the hiring process early in the year for these temporary
jobs. Registering with temp agencies is also a good idea as some temp
firms work with these offices as well.”

Of note, sites that cater to retirees looking for
part-time, temporary and full time jobs and project assignments,
include,, and
Koff recommends that those interested in working other than full-time
must state that on their resume.

Just because you retire doesn’t mean you should sit on the front porch waiting for your final days.  There is still plenty you can and should do.  You don’t need a movie like The Bucket List to get you up and motivated.  Retirement is your second life.  Make the most of it by planning a sound retirement. 

Take the few minutes to check your 401k investments, your IRAs, your mutual funds and any other financial investments you have for your retirement. 

Make an appointment to speak with a financial advisor to make sure you’re on the right track.  Many retirement planning advisors now offer a free consultation before they charge you so take advantage of that and get some free advice.


Eleven retirement-planning moves that will set up a good 2008 (MENAFN)

Eleven retirement-planning moves that will set up a good 2008

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Save more money for your retirement in 2008


Re: Saving money for retirement

It’s never too late to start saving money for your retirement. The sooner the better though. The earlier you start saving the earlier you get to start enjoying the benefits of compound interest. As 2007 comes to a close and 2008 jumps out at us, start making your New Year’s resolutions that will benefit you for many years to come – especially in your retirement.

If you have not started investing in your company’s 401k plan, do so now. Make an appointment with your HR manager to get you the paperwork you need to start automatically investing in your 401k. If your company offers a matching contribution of whatever you put in then make sure you invest the maximum amount they match. If they match 3%, at a minimum you should put in 3%. If they match 6%, then you must at least invest this amount. You are literally giving away free money with each passing paycheck if you do not take advantage of the company’s 401k matching program.

Using the company’s 401k match can mean the difference in you eating at McDonald’s in your retirement or eating at Chris Madrid’s in your retirement. Those burgers are awesome. If you’re not familiar with Chris Madrid’s, if you’re ever in San Antonio check them out. Great burgers.

Anyways, back to my point. You can save a lot of money effortlessly for your retirement by just investing in your company’s 401k so do it as soon as possible.

If you’re already enrolled then think about increasing your contribution by a percentage point or two. Then once you max out your 401k, it’s time to start thinking about an IRA. They can automatically withdraw this from your paycheck and put it into an IRA and invest it in stocks and bonds of your choosing.

Don’t forget about long term care and life insurance. Millions of people will need long term care as they get older. The earlier you buy it, the cheaper it will be for you. And you do not need to be rich to invest in long term care insurance.

Another thing to keep track of is your Social Security benefits statements. You should get these every couple years and they indicate approximately how much you should expect when you begin to withdraw from Social Security. Make sure the incomes reported on these are the same as what you actually make. You want to make sure, your full income gets reported so you get the full benefit of Social Security you’re eligible for.

One last thing is to look for opportunities to make more money so you can save faster and possibly even retire sooner. There’s nothing like the feeling of being able to retire early. You should do it just for the looks your coworkers will give you. :o)

Keep these tips in mind as you start planning your goals for 2008 and for your future retirement.

Here’s to a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year!


Free Retirement Planning Tips