You may be retired, but you still need to plan your finances
Financial Planning for Seniors
by Gary Foreman
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A Tool to Determine the Best Time to Take Social Security Benefits
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You're officially a senior. Many of life's challenges like raising a family and earning a living are in the past. Yet, that doesn't mean that you can put your finances on autopilot. There's still a need for financial planning as a senior.
To help us explore the subject we contacted Kenneth D. Barringer. He's the author of Making Healthy Choices for Senior Living, a book that provides readers guidance for creating a long and fulfilling retirement.
Q: Aren't seniors through building up their retirement fund? Why would they need financial planning services?
Mr. Barringer: Why should seniors need financial planners? They need skilled counseling about important financial decisions: savings, investment planning, spending habits, and estate planning. These issues can enhance your retirement if handled well, or devastate your financial stability if you plan poorly.
Q: It's generally assumed that outliving your money is the biggest financial risk seniors face. Is there a way to eliminate or minimize that risk?
Mr. Barringer: We need to avoid outliving our financial resources by: (1) Keeping better financial records; (2) Maintaining control of spending; (3) Developing an investment program that causes our income and financial resources to grow, not diminish; and (4) Keeping good policies about income tax obligations and about other financial commitments we need to meet.
Q: Is it important for seniors to have some growth in their investments?
Mr. Barringer: Seniors need a plan, and professional help, to keep their investment growing over the years.
Q: Keeping track of records can be more challenging for seniors. Is there any way to make the job easier?
Mr. Barringer: There are good record keeping tools for financial investments that are obtainable through bookkeeping companies, tax consultants, investment firms, and office supply stores. Check them out to find the one form that fits your personal needs the best and start using it.
Q: Is there a way for seniors to know that it's time to have a younger family member help them with their finances?
Mr. Barringer: There may be a time when seniors need financial help by a younger family member when you cannot manage your funds well and feel a fear of bankruptcy. It is important, however, to feel close to that younger family member and to trust his or her capability. Discuss some kind of formal agreement you put in print, as well, and do not leave the provisions to memory.
If you're a senior don't assume that you can ignore your finances. Your need to plan for your financial future is just as important now as it was when you were in your twenties!
Kenneth D. Barringer holds four college degrees. He has a diverse work history with a successful record working with a livestock, farm management business, as well as being a clergyman, college professor, and a practicing clinical psychologist. He has also worked as a volunteer leader for a respected mental health coalition.
Gary Foreman is a former financial planner and purchasing manager who founded The Dollar Stretcher.com website and newsletters in 1996. He's been featured in MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, Fox Business, The Nightly Business Report, US News Money and CreditCards.com. Gary shares his philosophy of money here. You can follow Gary on Twitter or visit Gary Foreman on Google+. Gary is also available for audio, video or print interviews. For more info see his media page.
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- Determine if debt could derail your retirement and what you can do about it now. Our checklist can help you. Afterall, one of the most important ingredients for a comfortable retirement is to be debt free when you retire.
- Find information geared specifically for Baby Boomers in The Dollar Stretcher section dedicated to your financial issues. If you're over 50 your financial needs are different. And so are your questions.
- Should a trust be part of your financial planning?
- Selecting beneficiaries for your retirement accounts
- 6 facts baby boomers need to know about credit.
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