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50+: Live Better, Longer

Financial Planning for Caregivers

Here are 10 tips to make sure you're financially ready for retirement.
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Customize your investment plan. Most people will want to moderate the risk profile of their investments as they approach retirement, moving funds out of higher-risk stocks and into lower-growth (and lower-risk) investments. But don't get out of equities entirely, says Dauphine. "Chances are that you could live 25 years or longer in retirement, so you need to be careful about the 'decumulation' phase and make sure that you have enough money to see you through," he says. "In today's low-interest environment, it can be advisable to stay in some higher-return investments."

Investigate long-term care insurance. The longer you wait, the more expensive it becomes. If you lock in a policy at age 50, for example, you may only pay between $10 and $50 a month, depending on coverage. If you wait until 65, the same coverage will cost between $40 and $150 a month. The AARP offers one such plan through MetLife; find out more at www.metlife.com/aarpwww.metlife.com/aarp .

Consider what you'll do after retirement--and when you'll retire. More and more boomers are saying they plan to retire after 65, or work at least part-time past retirement, says the NCOA's Parkin. "Think about what you want your life to look like after retirement. What do you want to do with your time?" says Dauphine. "Don't leave the workforce until you're really sure you want to and are ready to financially, because it's a lot harder to get back into the workforce than it is to change jobs or ask a current employer for more flexible options."

Choose a good financial adviser. As tax laws, savings options, and benefits become more and more complicated, it's almost impossible to understand your options on your own. You'll navigate the confounding waters of retirement planning better with an experienced guide. "Hire a planner before you retire, someone who'll look at your whole financial picture, from wills and trusts to insurance and advance medical directives," says Dauphine. To find a good adviser, talk to neighbors and friends for references, and interview several. Your best bet, says Dauphine: a Certified Financial Planner (www.cfp.net), who must pass an examination and live up to a code of standards and ethics.

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