2011-07-14 / Local & State

Planning For Retirement In A Tough Economy

You don’t necessarily need to scrap your retirement dreams because of a bad economy. While many older Americans have seen their nest eggs decimated by a troubled economy, some smart planning and open dialogue can keep your retirement on track.

A new survey conducted for the Indexed Annuity Leadership Council finds that seniors and their adult children are reluctant to talk to each other about the financial aspects of their respective golden years. The Survey on Generational Retirement Perspectives found that over a third of adults never talk about retirement plans with their parents who aren’t yet retired. Similarly, a third of parents only talk to adult children about the subject once a year or less.

“Actively taking control of your financial future can provide peace of mind for your family. Families that engage in open dialogues about retirement planning are taking the first step towards taking control,” says Wendy Waugaman, CEO and President of American Equity.

In today’s economy, many Americans are adjusting retirement strategies. Some are planning to work longer, while others are revamping their investments.

And now more than ever, experts are urging Americans to better balance their retirement plans so all their nest eggs aren’t in one basket. Consider different options, from stocks and bonds to indexed annuities to fixedincome funds.

Calculate your needs

Many retirement advisors recommend multiplying your annual retirement income needs by 20, with that total becoming your goal for your investments. Then, if your investments can average at least an eight percent return yearly, you can withdraw up to five percent annually during retirement.

Protect yourself

Consider a retirement portfolio that includes lower risk investments to help you weather market volatility and still reach your longterm goals. To achieve this balance, many are turning to indexed annuities and fixed income funds for such lowerrisk needs.

Unlike stocks, indexed annuities offer safety by guaranteeing your principal investment, while providing the opportunity for higher returns. Indexed annuities are insurance contracts that provide periodic payouts, with earnings linked to stock or bond indexes. Web sites such as www.indexedannuityinsights.or g can help educate you about these types of investments.

Be realistic

Are your retirement plans too grandiose? You may have to ratchet them down a bit. Equally important is to be realistic about when you can stop working. You might have to work beyond planned retirement dates or consider part-time work.

Don’t overvalue your home or its significance in your retirement. To capitalize on its equity, you may have to move to a less expensive home or region of the country. And you must also consider moving expenses.

Remember, everyone’s situation is unique, so it’s wise to consult a retirement planning specialist to keep your retirement plans on track.

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