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What steps should I take to develop a financial plan for retirement?

When it comes to saving money, start saving yesterday. Tuck your savings in accounts where it will grow. Take advantage of programs that maximize what you'll get from your employer and the government:
  • Put money into a 401(k). Put in the maximum amount you can. If your employer has a matching program, invest as much as they will match -- it's like free money!
  • Work past 65. Today's seniors are often retiring later than 65. If you like to stay busy, the extra income (plus your employer's health benefits, if available) will only help your savings.
  • Delay Social Security. If you put off taking Social Security payments until after 70, you will get larger payments (between 3% and 8%) when you start taking the money.
Are you planning to live off your savings in retirement? Do some math to figure out how much you will need to have saved. If you want to maintain your current standard of living, look at how much you currently spend a month and divide your savings by that number. That's how long your current savings will last in retirement.

This content originally appeared on HealthyWomen.org.
Philip Lisagor, MD
Thoracic Surgery (Cardiothoracic Vascular)
You could take the following steps when developing a financial plan for retirement or death:
  • Establish goals
  • Gather data
  • Analyze and evaluate your financial status
  • Develop a plan
  • Implement the plan
  • Monitor and review the plan annually and make needed adjustments

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.