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The single retiree

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When considering a retirement date, money isn't the only issue. Obviously, it's important to have enough savings to live comfortably, but it is also important to have an idea of what to do with your time when you retire. "Think about what interests you and what interests that you weren't able to pursue when you were busy with your career," says Ron Manheimer, executive director of the North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement at the University of North Carolina, Asheville.

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"We've found that the key issue in a fulfilling retirement is finding some type of affinity group to get involved with. It's really all about finding a community of people that share your values and positive character traits," he says, adding that this is especially important for single people. Whether you find a second home with the local symphony guild or the computer users forum is immaterial as long as you make friends and feel comfortable.

In retirement
When you're retired, controlling both expenses and debt is vital, says Bettye Banks, senior vice president for education for Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Greater Dallas. Even if you don't want to or can't continue with your full-time career, a part-time job can provide extra income, she says. "Consider ways to generate additional income to meet living expenses, which increase yearly."

If you are living beyond your means by running up your credit card balances, consider cutting up your cards and paying down your balances. "When you pay down your balances, you'll get an immediate benefit because you will no longer have to pay interest on those accounts," she says. "If you have a large amount of debt and need help," contact an accredited credit counseling service for assistance.

Drafting and updating wills, financial and health care power of attorneys and other estate planning documents is a must-do, especially for single people who don't have a spouse to back them up, says Pagliarini. If you are living with someone with whom you don't have a legal relationship and want that person to have a say in your financial or health affairs if you become incapacitated, make sure that person is included in your written documents and that your wishes are clearly articulated, Banks says.

Bankrate.com's corrections policy -- Updated: Oct. 1, 2007
 
 
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