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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 1491  
Subject: Re: Parents Nearing Retirement Date: 8/20/2006 4:06 PM
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FuwlEd:

As I reread this thread, including your post, it occurred to me to suggest a couple of things beyond previous posts.

First, I suggest that anyone of any age considering retirement take the time to learn a bit about investing -- bonds, equities, annuities, etc. -- so they can hopefully make wiser decisions about their own situation. I was shocked to learn just how few people even want to know about such things, which means they end up trusting someone else to handle all of their money! Younger people, especially, need to learn to appreciate the incredible value of "compounding" over many years!

Second, as I have said, if they are within 3-4 years of retirement, they should know what their Social Security payments will be -- at 62 or at their so-called "full" retirement age of 66 or whatever the formula says. In our case, for example, my wife would have gotten very little on her own; however, by applying as my spouse, she got a lot more, up to almost half of what I got.

Third, the Roth came along just about too late for us, really. We could see no advantage at our age of paying taxes up front on an existing IRA to convert it and then have to wait 5 years to withdraw the money.

Finally, for SS guidance, please go to the source -- Social Security Administration. Go to their web site, call them or whatever. They can be very helpful.

Again, we went from maybe a $100K combined income to about $30K or so in retrement and find it not that bad. HOWEVER, a big caveat is that we HAVE had to suck extra amounts out sometimes for big things (special trips, the annual whole year oil bill, etc.), bringing our income up closer to $40K, but even then we paid no taxes for the last two years, thanks to deductions, the amount of Social Security, our age, etc. And, because I personally "cultivate" (work at) my IRA, I work at rebuilding it if need be by buying/selling stocks and funds along the way.

Good luck!

Vermonter
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