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What Is the Best Age for Retirement?


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While everyone has different views and opinions on the right age for retirement, it is really a personal matter. Several factors need consideration before determining the best age for retirement.

Obviously, retirement is a financial issue; however, there are many other factors involved in the process of preparing for and thinking about retirement.

Health Matters

The typical age for retirement is somewhere around the ages of 62 – 67. However, you need to consider your health into the equation as well. Many older folks tend to suffer from common ailment such as:

* Arthritis
* Impaired vision
* Heart disease
* Memory loss

These are just to name a few. If you are planning to work as late as possible, then maintaining proper health is an important requirement to retirement planning. The decision to take good care of your health is never too late. Taking good care of your health will ensure that you will be able to work longer, earn more, and put more away for your golden years.

You will also be able to collect more Social Security the longer you work. In addition, keep in mind that the longer you work, the longer your health insurance will stay in place.

Finances

Of course, finances are one of the biggest parts of the equation for retirement. You need to plan, plan, and then plan some more when figuring out your financial situation for retirement. If you have begun to save early, then your retirement age will come earlier. If you are a late saver, then it stands to reason that your retirement may be put off until a bit later.

1. Seek advice from a professional – If you have not already started, seek the advice of a financial planner. You may think you know how much you need to retire, but that figure may be way off from what you will really need to maintain your standard of living after retirement.

2. Take advantage of being over 50 – If you have any tax deferrable accounts, look into the possibility of contributing more dollars for fewer taxes. Speak to a professional about this option.

3. Get comfortable with being a senior citizen – There are financial benefits to being older, such as eligibility for tax grievances, senior discounts on dining, parks, and even travel.

Think Ahead

Think ahead about what retirement means to you. If you are perfectly fine with retiring at an average age and just kicking back and relaxing, then retiring at a later age might suit you just fine.

However, if you plan to be actively engaged in sports and physical activity, retiring at an earlier age may be a better fit.

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Top Reasons to Downsize after Retiring


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If you are approaching retirement age, chances are you are considering whether or not to downsize your home. Many retired couples want to hold onto their homes for nostalgic purposes without realizing that it may be in their best interest to downsize instead.

There are many benefits to downsizing your home after retiring.

Maintenance, Upkeep, and Repair

Downsizing means having less to take care of, repair, maintain, and upkeep. As you head toward retirement age, you also head toward another season in your life – one where you obviously age.

As you age, your body changes. Whether or not you want to admit it, you are not able to do as many things as you did before and not as quickly. The possibility for injury exists in this scenario, as well.

Sometimes older folks will experience ringing in the ears or dizziness, and the last place you want to place yourself is on top of a ladder fixing something or changing a light bulb.

Financial Benefits

Having less to repair, maintain, upkeep, and fix means putting more money into your pocket. It stands to reason that if you are spending time fixing things, you are also spending money.

Owning a home means having to have extensive homeowners’ insurance, paying taxes, and possibly having a second mortgage. By downsizing, you diminish many of those things to a fraction of the cost of owning a home.

Lawn maintenance, snow shoveling, and taxes are sometimes included in your monthly maintenance fees if you purchase a townhome or condominium. By downsizing, you are selling a home that is worth much more and buying a smaller space. This is a cost-effective way to save money. By eliminating the expenses of homeownership, you also save money on a monthly basis.

Freedom

Downsizing offers you the freedom to come and go as you please. Often times neighbors of your townhouse or cooperative community will be more than willing and able to watch your place, care for your pets, and gather your mail while you travel. Bartering to return the favor is a great way to have your pet cared for while you are away, and will save you money as well.

Knowing that snow, grass, sprinkler systems are taken care of when you are away is a great way to just pick up and go on a spontaneous travel adventure without a whole lot to worry about.

So, as you can see, downsizing is a great way to save money, have less responsibility, and enjoy more freedom than ever before.

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Retirement and Men: Things to Do for Fun


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The image of a retired man, for many, is a man sitting on the couch with the remote control in his hand, becoming an expert in channel surfing. However, this does not have to be your fate.

If you have a male counterpart who is retiring before you do, make sure that you are prepared well in advance with a list of activities to do, as well as being armed with your list of things to do for him.

Having your man busy and active doing things he loves, not just things you want him to do, will make for a happier man and a happier couple.

There are so many things for men to do for fun – here are a few of them:

* Sports – If your man has only been a spectator all these years, perhaps it is time for him to get off the sidelines and get into the game. If he has not been active, perhaps learning to play golf is his game.

* Exercise – Joining a gym will be good for a man’s mental and physical health and wellbeing. For many men, actively exercising during their working years may not have been a possibility. Joining a gym during retirement will give a man many health benefits for his heart and joints, and will reduce his cholesterol levels as well. Exercise will also give him a boost of self-esteem.

* Fishing or hunting – Now may be the greatest opportunity for a man to have the companionship of other men his age while fishing or hunting. Hunting is a great sport for the winter months while fishing is great for warmer weather. This gives a man an opportunity to participate in a sport while keeping connected with other male friends.

* Coaching – If your man has not had time all these years to coach Little League, this is an awesome opportunity. It benefits both the Little Leaguer and the coach and is a win/win situation.

* Volunteer – If a man has carpentry skills or electrical and plumbing skills, perhaps volunteering for an organization such as Habitat for Humanity will be a perfect match. Not only will he continue to use his skills, he will also get to meet new people and give back to a worthy cause.

* Run a marathon – Of course, if your man has never run before, a marathon may be extreme; however, if he starts out small, sets a goal, and checks with his doctor, anything is possible after retiring.

These are just a few ideas of fun things for retired men to do.

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Reducing Your Debt before Retiring


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It is imperative to have a healthy portfolio before you retire. However, it may not look as healthy as it should due to a falling economy and downsizing. Many individuals have had to make concessions with their 401(k) plans and pension plans. Moreover, who knows what Social Security will look like a few years or even one year from now.

However, one of the things you can control is how much debt you have going into retirement. There are many tips you can use to minimize and even eliminate debt altogether – even before you retire.

Consolidate Debt

By consolidating debt, you eliminate multiple payments and reduce the accumulation of multiple interest rates. Make sure that you shop around before consolidating credit card debt from one card to another. The terms and agreements are almost always in fine print and you need to know what the penalties, fees, surcharges, and time frame are before signing on the dotted line.

By consolidating debt, you now have the opportunity for one low monthly payment and one interest rate. This will open up the opportunity for you to pay off your credit card debt faster and eventually become credit card free.

Eliminate Future Debt

The only sure-fire way to eliminate future debt is to live within your means. If you purchase something and use the thought process of figuring out how to pay for it later, you are already automatically in the danger zone.

Eliminating future debt is achieved by not creating it in the first place. Take a class on how to budget or attend a budget workshop. Seek the expertise of a financial planner. Do not leave your finances to chance. By learning how to create and stick to a budget, you can guarantee yourself being free of future debt.

Refinance, Home Equity Lines of Credit, Reverse Mortgages

There are many finance-related workshops and seminars that are free of charge, and it would be a wise choice indeed to attend as many of them as you possibly can. This will help you to learn about whether or not it is in your best financial interest to refinance, purchase a home equity line of credit or not, and even the do’s and don’ts of a reverse mortgage.

As with everything else, an informed consumer is a wise consumer. When it comes to matters of your money, seeking out wise counsel is the best choice to make. Find estate planners, eldercare attorneys, and other legal professionals who are willing to give you a free one-hour consultation. Gather as much information as you can from these free one-hour sessions before consulting a financial advisor.

Reducing your debt before retiring and learning how not to recreate it are two sure-fire ways to enjoy retirement more with fewer financial woes.

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New Businesses You Can Create during Retirement


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If facing retirement is not something that you relish, either because you are the infamous “type A” personality or you just dread the thought of not working or earning income, then there are many opportunities for retired individuals to enjoy.

New business ideas from creative to technical and anything in between are available for retired individuals. There are opportunities for creativity, tutoring, and philanthropy just to name a few.

Creative

A retired individual can open up a new business or start a new endeavor based on a favorite hobby or talent.

* Art lessons – if you know how to paint or draw, there is no time like the present to teach younger students or even fellow retirees how to paint and draw.

* Music lessons – the need for reasonably priced, reliable, and trustworthy music instructors is on the rise. With so many budget cuts to school systems, this is an excellent opportunity if you are skilled in this area.

* Arts and crafts – if you love creating arts and crafts and if family and friends have told you that you have a knack for it, then perhaps it is time to turn that into a lucrative event. Churches, schools, and even not for profit companies hold craft sales various times throughout the year.

Financial

If you have a knack for numbers and enjoy crunching them as much as the next person hates crunching them, you might have yourself a business in the making.

* Accountant – you can turn your love of numbers into an accounting business that will earn you potential income during tax season. Find out how to go about becoming a certified public accountant.

* Budget workshops – You can teach persons heading toward retirement age how to budget once retired and how to plan accordingly for that retirement.

Tutoring

* If you have a second language, a degree in English or perhaps a career as a math teacher, tutoring is a great and lucrative business to have on the side. Tutors make a very nice hourly salary while helping others.

* Tutors can range in anything from math and science to English and S.A.T. preparation. Many parents would be more than willing to pay for extra tutoring in the hopes of their child getting into a better college.

* Opening a new business as a retired person is a win/win situation. You get to help others, fulfill a need, and make some extra cash along the way.

Creating a new business is also a great way for a retired individual to make sure that their mind stays active as well as their body and spirit.

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How to Handle Family and Friends Once You Have Retired


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For you, retiring more than likely means freedom – freedom to come and go as you please and freedom to do things you have always wanted to. However, family and friends may have another definition of retirement; they may think of it as just one more person to help them with their needs.

Your grown children may expect you to be available for babysitting services while they enter back into the work force or enjoy leisure. Your neighbors may have pets that need walking or homes to be looked after while they are away on vacation.

That is all well and good if that is your desire; however, if it is not, you need to make that clear from the outset.

Communicate Beforehand about Your Availability

* Communication is key when it comes to expectations of others. Perhaps it has come up in conversation that you can now watch your grandchildren every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. However, if you have not agreed to this schedule or if you have no intention of doing so, it is imperative that you clearly communicate this to your children.

* Be firm. If you and your partner have decided that you are ready to hit the ground running with no duties or obligations, it is essential that you make that clear. Do not let anyone persuade you, because that is a lose/lose situation. You and everyone else will be unhappy. If you have decided in no uncertain terms that you are unavailable, then do not waiver.

* Be flexible in emergency situations. Of course, you can always offer yourself in emergency only situations.

Unexpected Requests

There may be times when an unexpected request comes your way from a friend or neighbor. Being that they know you are home all the time, they may ask you for a favor or two on a recurring basis.

* Have a reply ready for such occasions. You know who your friends are and who surrounds you as a neighbor. If you have a neighbor who is a pet lover and takes in too many pets, yet does not have the time or capability for caring for them, be aware. This neighbor will more than likely ask you to pitch in and help the cause. Have a reply ready, telling them that you are not capable or that you simply are busy enjoying your new-found freedom. Do not be caught off guard.

* If a friend is starting up a brand new business and you are not interested, than prepare yourself ahead of time. You have to know that more than likely you will be asked to pitch in and help. Again, have a pat answer ready to go.

With clear communication, firm but fair approach, and having prepared responses to certain requests, you can handle friends and family with grace and ease, and enjoy your retirement without feeling guilty.

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Handy Retirement Tips: Things to Think About for Retirement


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When planning for retirement, the first thing that probably comes to mind is setting up your finances. And while this is obviously one of the most important, there are many things to take into consideration when thinking about or facing retirement.

Retirement that is well planned is a retirement well spent. A little knowledge and information goes a long way in helping to make your retirement plans and dreams come true.

Where Will You Live?

If you are fortunate enough to have planned well enough financially for retirement, the next biggest thought should be where you want to live. Have you thought about moving to a warmer climate? If so, where will that warmer climate be?

There are many ways you can explore new areas before you are faced with the actual date of your retirement.

* Take smaller road trips as you approach retirement. Plan short weekend trips to explore new areas close to or just a short distance away from where you are living now.

* Make sure that your vacations are well planned. Time vacations with time-share opportunities to explore new communities. Include real estate tours in your vacation time.

* Use the internet and gather as much information from others that have relocated to get their advice and opinions.

* If you find a place that you like, make sure that you visit during all seasons to see if this is really a good fit for you.

Will You Downsize or Keep Your Family Home?

For many retired couples, the thought of giving up their family home is unbearable. If this is the case for you, make sure that you have the necessary help through family, friends, and neighbors, or the financial security to pay someone in order to help you maintain your home.

You will need to keep in mind several things:

* Repairs are often unexpected; make sure that you have a plumber and an electrician handy at all times.

* Cleaning a larger home may be a difficult and cumbersome task later on in life.

* The older you home gets, the more repairs it will need.

* Do not forget about seasonal maintenance such as shoveling snow and mowing the lawn.

How Close or Far Do You Want to Be from Family

For some older folks, being away from family is a rewarding experience as they feel that they have raised their children and it is now their time to enjoy life.

However, for some the thought of being away from grandchildren and children is unbearable. Keep in mind that once you make a move, especially a big move, moving back can prove stressful.

These are just a few helpful tips to consider before retiring.

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Fun Things for Single Women to Do Once Retired


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Facing retirement is an exciting time and a time for new adventure. If you are a single woman getting ready to head into retirement, why not head in full steam ahead. Being a single woman should in no way, shape, or form hinder the joy of retiring. You can join many adventures, clubs, and groups as a single, newly retired woman.

1. Groups – There are so many groups for single women, no matter what age. You can join a support group of any kind from widows’ groups to entrepreneur groups. There are also many dating groups that are geared toward seniors. Groups for adventurers looking to meet other people (both men and women) that go on camping trips, theatre excursions, casino runs, and anything you can think of are available for retired women.

2. Clubs – There are also many clubs that single retired women can join such as book clubs, church clubs, and hobby clubs that you should never be at a loss for a club to join. Pick several areas that you are interested in and join away.

3. Online Dating – Dating sites specifically designed for seniors are available these days and it is a great way to meet people. Even if you do not meet your match made in heaven, dating sites are a great way to meet new people. Just as you would be discerning by meeting someone in person, use the same logic for online dating.

4. Retreats – Women’s retreats are in abundance these days. If you are into holistic healing and yoga, you are bound to find a women’s retreat that will spoil and pamper you. There are also several spiritual and religious retreats that you can look into through your local place of worship.

5. Learn something new – If you have always wanted to swing dance and you do not have any health concerns, now is the perfect time to do so. Take a class on how to blog and you will be surprised at how many people you will interact with on your site. If music or art are your thing, take art lessons and music lessons and you will be amazed at how artistic and creative you really are.

6. Volunteer – Although it might sound like hard work to volunteer your time, the opposite could not be more true. Volunteering is a great way to give back, but you receive so much in the way of fulfillment and even fun as well. Some schools or churches need help painting sets for upcoming plays. Volunteering is a great way to give back and have some fun – and it’s a wonderful opportunity to meet new people.

7. Travel – Grab a bunch of co-workers who have recently retired and go on a girl’s weekend away.

These are just a few ideas on how to have fun as a single women once retired.

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Creative and Fun Things for Retired Couples to Do


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Retired couples are no longer portrayed as two senior citizens rocking back and forth in rocking chairs on the front porch while the man naps and the woman knits. Retired couples are full of fun and zest for their newly acquired life as retired persons.

There are so many fun things to do and see as a newly retired couple, there should only be a minimum of rocking out on the front porch.

Travel and Adventure

Hopefully, you have planned your finances successfully and maybe even downsized to a smaller home, condo, or townhouse, and you now have some flexibility financially as well as time-wise to travel and explore.

There are several activities you can explore while traveling as well:

* Hiking – Hiking is a great way to keep physically fit, explore, go out on adventures, and meet new people with similar interests.

* Boating – If you have always wanted to live the boating life, now is a great time to try it out. Explore options for taking classes before you head out on the water so that you are familiar with safety and emergency precautions. Grab a group of friends and set sail for the day.

* Camping – If you felt that camping was too much work when raising your young family (too many things to pack along), now may be the perfect opportunity to investigate the great outdoors.

* Beaches – Becoming a beach bum as part of your retirement plan is a great way to just kick back and take in a much-deserved spell of rest and relaxation.

Helping Others by Giving Back

Perhaps you have always wanted to be a “power” couple by volunteering, but the time never seemed to present itself. Now that you are a retired couple, however, you have the opportunity to become involved with many different things to help others.

* Workshops – You and your spouse can offer workshops giving advice and tips on how to retire successfully.

* Tutoring – Perhaps you and your spouse are able to offer tutoring in English or a foreign language to those struggling with language.

* Nursing homes – Spending time in conversation or simply doing some light reading in a nursing home setting would provide an outlet for your time and a sense of fulfillment for both of you.

* Creative endeavors – If you and your spouse have an artistic side, you can offer workshops for painting or creative writing.

* Working with animals – Working in an animal shelter will provide love and support for animals with no homes.

Do Something You Always Wanted to Do

* Take dance lessons – learn how to swing dance or take Latin dance lessons.

* Learn how to draw – take art lessons together; learn how to paint.

* Write – create a blog together about how great retirement really is.

As a newly retired power couple, the possibilities are endless.