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When should you retire? Retirement planning is where dreams meet reality, and it doesn’t have to be an unpleasant meeting. Much will depend on your age and your current financial condition. Money shouldn’t be your only concern, but realistically money has plenty to say in this debate. You will still have to eat, and you need a place to stay, maybe even two places to stay. Your most important tool will be maintaining a budget. Early in retirement, vacations and events that didn’t fit your schedule can easily become your schedule.
Other financial concerns may delay retirement too. If you are still paying off a mortgage or have children still in school, you may need to continue working until those obligations ease. Sometimes we are forced into retirement by our health; you may have friends who say they are retired but simply are not well enough to return to work. You are possibly aware of others who begin taking Social Security at an early age due to lack of employment options.
Social Security is part of your planning along with any defined benefit programs you and your spouse have earned. You can go to the Social Security website to find your retirement benefit and how it will change depending on your retirement age. You may also have either 401 K plans or Individual Retirement Accounts and distributions can begin at age 59 ½ without penalty. Many plans will require that minimum distributions begin at age 70 ½. You should contact your employer for information.
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