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.
"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.
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.