Smart Retirement Planning For Every Age

Solid planning and the right safety net will ensure that you enjoy your golden years

cards to avoid revolving debt and have no car payment.

Although Gipson has life and medical insurance, he doesn’t receive Medicare or Social Security because under the Los Angeles County system in effect at the time, he paid no taxes toward either. “I have to remind myself to cut back on spending and to be careful,” says Gipson. Even so, says Lesley, “We love to spend time with and money on our grandchildren.”

And there have been other adjustments. “I was so used to my routine that the mere fact that I didn’t have to get up was a shock,” Gipson says. “It still is a bit. I don’t miss the stress, the routine. It’s a pleasant shock.”

Finances in your 60s
Most people in their 60s are making the transition from planning for retirement to living in retirement. To make sure you’re on track, here’s some advice from Don Roman, a senior financial planner with MetLife Securities in Atlanta:

FIND BALANCE IN YOUR PORTFOLIO
Seek investments that will provide income, such as corporate bonds, guaranteed investment contracts (GICs), and annuities. To learn more about these investment vehicles, visit the National Association of Investors Corporation at www.betterinvest ing.org. Also, if you haven’t already done so, get a financial planner who can tell you when you must take withdrawals and how to best manage your money.

And, make sure your retirement savings aren’t sitting in one investment vehicle. The Gipsons’ entire retirement plan is predicated upon Ronald’s pension. “They should do their best to assess the long-term economic viability of the county’s retirement system, which provides the Gipson’s current and future income, as well as medical and life insurance benefits,” says Roman.

PROTECT YOURSELF FOR THE LONG TERM
Statistics show people are living longer. African American women have a life span of 76.1 years, while their male counterparts are living until age 69.2, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. The closer you get to retirement, the more likely you will need additional insurance coverage. With that in mind, remember to:

Review your medical coverage. Consider purchasing supplemental medical coverage to protect against gaps such as increased deductibles, higher out-of-pocket costs, and elimination of coverage.

Purchase long-term care insurance policies. Compare the costs of long-term care insurance premiums versus the possibility of depleting assets to pay for such care. If you’re retired, you can use the premiums previously reserved for disability insurance to cover long-term care insurance premiums. Ensure that policies cover the range of potential living arrangements, such as in-home healthcare, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes.

Review your life insurance. Roman recommends two types of policies: universal life with secondary guarantees (ULSG) and guaranteed advantage universal life (GAUL). The coverage for the ULSG is guaranteed to last until the insured dies. Also, the premium is guaranteed to remain the same for the lifetime of the insured. The GAUL policy has a rider—the guaranteed survivor income benefit (GSIB)—that pays a fixed monthly income for the life of the beneficiary (versus the more traditional lump sum benefit). Visit

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