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Thinking about retirement

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Many of you may already be wondering about how much it will take to retire. Or you may be wondering about what retirement will look like.

One of the tools to help you visualize retirement is to create an account through the social security administration so that you can see an estimate of future benefits. Some people get this information through the mail, but the limitation of that is you only receive it once a year. By creating an account, you can check on your estimated benefits anytime you wish and can stay informed about any possible changes with the social security program. You can create an account through the link here: Create an Account.

At the website, you can see the estimated monthly payout at various ages, you can see your earnings over time, and you can see estimated disability payouts and death benefits.

In addition to social security, the other tools that round out your retirement plan are taking advantage of company retirement plans and other savings and investments. With all of these tools, you will have the ability to see what level of income you may have once retired. At the other end of this analysis, a good strategy is to evaluate the actual expenses you would have in retirement.

When you evaluate expenses, one option to consider is the area of the country you retire in because some cities are more expensive than other cities. However, if, by the time you retire, your mortgage is paid, and your house is in good shape, you could have a lot less expense to account for.

The best strategy is to avoid relying on social security as the only source of retirement income. There is a lot of conversation about changing how social security benefits work – we could go to a self-directed plan, or the future payouts could be less than the estimations today, but the likelihood of social security going away is probably remote.

However, the best thing to do is to build up other retirement sources, and then when you retire, then social security is extra “gravy” in addition to other funding sources.

Happy L-Earning!

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