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There is a right way and a wrong way to transition into retirement. The wrong way includes putting off thinking about retirement until it is too late. What follows is a sober appraisal of the five major things you need to remember when you get around to thinking about your future retirement goals.

Lock-in Some Income

After medical bills, retirees worry most about running short of money. One way to permanently neutralize a cash-flow shortage is to purchase a lifetime annuity. Basically, an annuity is a contract that provides you with the assurance of knowing that you will receive a check on the first of every month for the rest of your life. A lifetime annuity can be well worth it, even if you have to finance the purchase of it.

Confirm That You Are Saving Enough

Periodically, you need to take stock of where you are and make adjustments as needed. Having concrete goals committed to paper helps in this regard. By fixing a target date, you give yourself the means to measure your progress and make small changes to your budget and savings habits that counter inflation, earnings fluctuations and disappointments from investments that don't work out.

Emergency Funds and Insurance

A solid financial plan should begin with an assessment of your present financial position. This would include savings, investments, debts and obligations. Your plan must not leave out consideration for a practical amount of insurance coverage and an emergency fund needed to protect you against unplanned and catastrophic events that would threaten your retirement plans.

Assisted Living vs Independent Living

“Assisted living” is a long-term housing support option that includes a bundle of services such as health care and medication as needed. This level of care may or may not be available to clients around the clock. “Independent living” represents a different way of approaching retirement that is appropriate for people not requiring intensive medical services. Folks who choose this lifestyle commonly enjoy a quiet life in a multi-unit housing community providing just the right level of services and amenities they need. These may include housekeeping, catering, social activities, as well as transportation services. According to company officials at Sunshine Retirement Living, folks who have planned well for retirement can enjoy a carefree and independent life within the privacy of their own residences whether they opt for an assisted living or an independent living lifestyle.

Financial Planning and Goal Setting

The USAA Educational Foundation is a nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire people to pursue financial literacy. The USAA encourages future retirees to set concrete retirement objectives. Your retirement goals should include a specific set of accomplishments, a set monetary amount to fund them, a specific target date for realization, and your commitment to set all of these goals down on paper so you can periodically review them.

People are living longer and healthier lives than ever before. This simple fact requires us to take seriously the idea that solid financial planning is something we cannot long ignore. If average people are to enjoy the fruits of their extended retirements, they need to start thinking about their financial futures sooner and plan accordingly.

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