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Retirees need to earn more on investments

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There's more than one way to make up a retirement shortfall. They can cut back on spending, work longer, leave less of a legacy and perhaps use other assets -- even their home -- as a resource at retirement. They could downsize or do a reverse mortgage.

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I typically don't consider my client's home as an asset that we're going to use. Most people are living in their home and don't intend to sell it. But should something come up -- an unexpected death, disability, long-term care needs -- I want to get clients to think about those kinds of issues and think about what kind of plan they have in place to handle those issues as they arise.

We can find the right investment strategy for them once we look at the bigger picture and figure out the best way to get from point A to point B. We want to get them the return they need to meet their goals but at the lowest level of risk that they need to take.

Plan ahead
We sometimes have to talk about several plans. Plan A is ideal, plan B might be more realistic but not as ideal and plan C might be a backup plan in case numerous negative issues come to bear. There's no going back on your retirement when you're 75 if you messed up.

Health care costs
I encourage my clients to consider what they think the costs will be. We try to come up with a number that we feel makes sense given what we know today. We need to discuss with them that these numbers can change and we need to update the plan as we see changes occurring and try to keep it as current as possible. If we do a financial plan for someone, it's not a one-time event, it's an ongoing process.

Debt
The more you can pay down your debt, the more you have left to invest or to use for day-to-day expenses. Debt is usually a burden unless it's used for a specific reason to enhance your wealth.

Bankrate.com's corrections policy -- Posted: June 18, 2007
 
 
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