59 1/2: Not quite ready to cross the finish line
What now? If the
tally of your retirement savings leaves you feeling a bit queasy about the future,
focus on these solutions:
Pay off your mortgage. Living
well on a limited income after retirement is more doable if you
can keep Uncle Sam out of your pockets. Once you and your spouse
start collecting Social Security, you'll owe taxes on it if a combination
of income and half of your benefits is greater than $32,000 for
a couple filing jointly, or $25,000 for a single filer. Keeping
your need for income below that threshold is much easier if you
don't have a mortgage, points out Jim Thomas, a CPA based in Detroit.
buying long-term care insurance before you get any older because costs increase
as you age. Consumer Reports estimates that a plan that costs a 50-year-old
$1,625 annually will run a 60-year-old $3,100 and a 70-year-old $7,575.
more money. Unless you're Bill Gates, there's no such thing as too much
money. The more you save, the more you'll have. With retirement so close, now's
the time to tighten your belt and sock away the cash.
to manage your money better. Investing is a lot like playing poker; you
can learn to be good at it. Better
Investing, an organization of investment clubs, provides excellent tools and
low-risk strategies for people striving to increase their investment knowledge
and raise the return on their savings.