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Author: RetiredVermonter Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 75384  
Subject: Re: Advising parents with retirement Date: 5/12/2007 6:11 PM
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Andrea:

I have yet to even read all the other replies you have had, but here's what I say -- from the perspective of a 65+ guy (and his same age wife) who have been retired for a few years now. Remember, this advice may be worth what it cost you!

I think they are shooting for an income in the $50,000 to 60,000 range. My Dad is still doing freelance work that brings in some income. I don't know if they're spending any of their nest egg yet or not. They will both have some Social Security income--significantly more from Dad than Mom. I don't know exactly how much this will be.

If they truly have $1 million, they can perhaps achieve that just from Social Security and CD's, to be honest, by "laddering" the CD's (always having some to renew), etc., but that can be a pain in the neck, too.

Depending on their situation (how much each is entitled to from SS), the spouse is eligible for about 50% of the higher wage-earner's SS income, if that spouse would otherwise have little on her own. I.e., if the husband is eligible for, say, $1,500/month, but the wife would ordinarlily only get, say, $300, maybe because she never earned a lot (I have no idea, mind you), she can actually get almost $750 /month based on HIS SS. That was what happened with us, and it has helped a lot to have the TWO incomes.

Add the SS income to whatever else they have coming in, plus the modest (but safe) income from $1 million, and they can have that $60,000 or so easily. We retired on MUCH, MUCH less than that, and live quite happily on it -- but that's us, too.

As has been said, you give little information as to how much they ENJOY playing with the market or even want to, of course.

They have private health insurance for health costs. This is fairly expensive: at least $500/month. At some point they will be eligible for Medicare, but they aren't yet. That's all I know.

Health care can be costly. Our Blue Cross coverage started at about $325/month for the two of us about 7 years ago and hit $750 or so just befire we went on Medicare! That was with a big deductible, too! However, even on MEdicare, with a Medigap policy for deductibles, it still runs us about $450/month, between Medicare Part B and Medigap coverage, so there is no true free lunch, naturally.

For me, keeping my iRA healthy, despite occasional withdrawals, is a hobby of sorts! For example, with rather little effort, I've earned about 10 percent YTD, which is pretty good, I think! (Yes, I diversify -- some in mutual funds and some in equities.)

There are a number of rather nice dividend-paying stocks out there that return 10 percent or more, PLUS show good growth, so research can help with that, if they'd like to perhaps "play" with a LITTLE... carefully!

Good luck!

Vermonter
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