Planning For Retirement - Will Your Golden Years Be Golden?

Guest Blog Post by Baby Boomers Planning for Retirement

Time passes quickly by, and the day of your retirement is drawing near. Will you be prepared or will you still be thinking about planning for retirement? 

"According to Scottrade's fifth annual American Retirement Survey, 60 percent of Gen Y-ers saved nothing toward retirement last year and 40 percent plan to save nothing in 2011." Is this your situation? Not planning for retirement, is a recipe for disaster. You cannot count on Social Security providing for all your needs in your golden years. It was never intended that Social Security would be a retirement pension. It was designed to be a supplement to your savings.

Like a three legged stool, if one leg is missing, you do not have a stable seat. Savings is one very important leg of your retirement planning stool. The sooner you begin saving a minimum of 10% of your annual income, the larger your retirement income will be.

Time, saving money, and the power of compounding of interest will work miracles for your retirement years.

Consider this scenario. Who do you think would have more money saved for retirement? Person A saves a mere 5% of his gross salary of $40,000, or $2,000 for forty years and invests it for a return on investment of 10% annually. Or, person B who gets a late start and saves $5,500 annually for twenty years also at 10% R.O.I.? 

Person A would save and earn a grand total of $885,185.11. Person B would only accumulate $315,012.50 before taxes. Had Person A saved and invested a full 10% of his salary, he would have accumulated a grand total of $1,770,370.22! 

When planning for retirement, the sooner you start and consistently contribute to your savings and investment plan, the better off you will be in your retirement years. 

If you have a 401(K) Plan where you work, you should take full advantage of this plan. Often employers will also contribute a portion based on your contribution. This is an additional boost to your savings. 

If you do not have an employer 401(K) plan, you must start either a standard IRA or a Roth IRA. Your savings will grow tax free under the Roth IRA plan under current rules. 

In November 2008, there were articles that appeared that Democrats in the House of Representatives were conducting hearings on the proposals to confiscate all IRAs and 401(K)s. These accounts would be converted to accounts administered by the Social Security Administration. 

In light of the debt crisis, this Draconian measure cannot be ruled out by a cash strapped government. The wise investor will not put all of their investment eggs in one basket or account type. You might consider hiring an asset protection attorney to protect your IRA from government confiscation. 

Planning for retirement begins with a savings plan. All good investors are good savers. You should learn how to invest. Stansberry & Associates Investment Research offers excellent newsletters that will teach you the essentials of wise investing. I have found them to be a great asset. 

Once you have an investment plan in place, I would also recommend that you plan for your health issues for your latter years. Most people will need some assistance in their last years. One way to pay for assisted living care or a nursing home, is to purchase a Long Term Care insurance policy that covers these expenses. 

The average number of years a man needs assisted living is two years. A woman needs a minimum of three years. Remember, that is just an average. Some residents with dementia have been committed for as long as ten years. 

Planning for retirement early will help you have a comfortable and financially secured retirement under normal conditions. 

For more articles on Planning for Retirement consult

And to get an idea of your area's nursing home costs, take a look at  Caregiverlist's Nursing Home Star-Ratings and Costs.

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