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By the time you reach your 50s or 60s its a good time to realistically evaluate your current circumstances. Be honest with your responses so that you can make the required financial and lifestyle adjustments as you prepare for retirement. Take a look at your asset portfolio, review your estate plan, which should include a Will, a durable Power of Attorney and a Living Will just in case you are unable to make these decisions. Legal documents like financial planning, need to be updated as changes occur in your life and it’s always recommended to consult an attorney.


When considering your financial status, it’s reasonable to consult a financial planner and tax advisor. Be sure to include all anticipated income from investments, Social Security, other retirement funds and spousal or partner incomes. You need to know the tax impacts on distributions or withdrawals:
• interest
• dividends
• capital gains
This information will visually indicate if you are financially prepared or need to make adjustments in your financial plans. Change is part of life and as each of us moves into the next phase of life during 50 and 60 years of age, there are naturally lifestyle changes.


Basic living necessities, health care and inflation continue for everyone retired or not. Make a list of expenses to maintain your lifestyle and account for the unknown factors that could affect your financial conditions. Now you’re ready to look at your assets:
• fixed
• liquid
You need to compare how long these asset incomes will last alongside the list of expenses. Financial planning can resolve concerns, provide you with a clear picture of where you stand financially and offer information needed to make adjustments. In some cases you may need to increase retirement and investment contributions. It may also be necessary to simplify your lifestyle now by reducing expenses.


As you approach 60, lifestyles and earning potentials change. In today’s economy companies are offering early retirement options. There’s normally a bonus tied to that offer, you need know how and where to invest the bonus taking advantage of all tax benefits. Be sure to review health care costs, which continues to increase annually. Health care premiums through Social Security need to be paid. Take the time to review the actual costs, and out of pocket expenses, which may not be covered. Social Security was intended to be a supplemental income, do not expect to live off of this benefit.