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My Top Ten Recommendations for Every Age 1

PART I: When Retirement Is at Least Ten Years Out 9

Q1. I’m saving for retirement—but how much is enough? 11
Q2. I’m 50 and haven’t started to save for retirement. What can I do? 17
Q3. How can I save for my kids’ college without derailing my retirement? 24
Q4. There are so many different types of retirement accounts. What do I really need? 32
Q5. The stock market has me spooked. How should I invest as I get closer to retirement? 45
Q6. I’m too busy to manage my money carefully. Are there any simple strategies for someone like me? 73
Q7. Is long-term care insurance worth the cost? 83
Q8. Does it make sense to borrow from my 401(k) if I need cash? 88
Q9. My partner and I aren’t married. What do we need to know about managing our finances as a team, especially when it comes to retirement planning? 95
Q10. I want to contribute to a few charities. How can I make the most of what I have to give? 104
Q11. I’m drowning in financial paperwork. How can I get organized? 114

PART II: Getting Closer: Transitioning into Retirement 121

Q12. Can I keep contributing to my retirement accounts indefinitely? 123
Q13. Should I be debt-free before I retire? 127
Q14. What should I do with my 401(k) when I leave my job? 133
Q15. I’m thinking of leaving my nine-to-five job to become a consultant, working from home. What’s the cost of being my own boss? 141
Q16. My kids are grown. Do I still need life insurance? 148
Q17. I’m fit as a fiddle. Do I really need disability insurance? 154
Q18. I’m thinking of downsizing once I retire. Will I get hit with a tax bill when I sell my house? 160
Q19. Should I take my pension as a lump sum or monthly payments? 167
Q20. Should I buy an annuity? 175
Q21. I’m 60 and way behind in my savings. Will I ever be able to retire? 183

PART III: Life in Retirement 189

Q22. Now that I’m retired, how should I manage my money to make it last? 191
Q23. I just retired. What’s the smartest way to draw income from my portfolio? 198
Q24. I was forced to retire early for health reasons. How can I make up for the unexpected shortfall in savings? 208
Q25. Can I lower my income tax bill now that I’m retired? 215
Q26. Does a reverse mortgage make sense? 223
Q27. What insurance do I need at this point in my life? 228
Q28. If I go back to work (even part-time), what do I need to know? Can I still collect Social Security? Contribute to my 401(k)? 236
Q29. I handle all of the family finances. How can I create a turnkey system for my spouse in case something happens to me? 242

PART IV: Maximizing Social Security and Medicare 247

Q30. When should I file for Social Security benefits? 249
Q31. How much will I collect from Social Security? 258
Q32. I’m divorced. Am I entitled to a Social Security benefit from my ex? 265
Q33. What Social Security benefit can I expect if I become disabled? 269
Q34. How much will my spouse receive from Social Security if I die? 274
Q35. When and how do I apply for Medicare? 279
Q36. I’ve heard about insurance to supplement Medicare. What will I need, and how much will it cost? 285
Q37. Once I’m on Medicare, will I have other out-of-pocket health care costs? What can I do now to lower my health care expenses later? 291

PART V: Estate Planning 297

Q38. I want to create an estate plan. What do I need? 299
Q39. When I take into account the value of my home and all my investments, my estate is sizable. What do I need to know about estate taxes? 305
Q40. I’m confused about how to divide my estate between my children, who have different needs and financial resources. Is it best to divide it into equal parts? 315
Q41. I’m thinking about giving my kids part of their inheritance now, as opposed to holding on to everything until I die. What does this mean for estate and gift taxes? 320
Q42. My spouse and I have three children together, and I also have two children from a previous marriage. How can we make sure that our estate plans treat everyone fairly? 326
Q43. I want to leave the bulk of my estate to my children, but also want to make meaningful contributions to a few charities. How can I incorporate this into my estate plan? 332

PART VI: The People in My Life 337

Q44. My 20-something child has decided that she wants to move back home. I like my new empty-nest lifestyle, but I want to help her out. How can I balance these? 339
Q45. As a retiree, I don’t have a lot of extra money. I’ve always helped my children and other extended family members—but now it’s tough. How do I sort this out? 344
Q46. My husband has no interest in our finances. How can I get him involved? 349
Q47. My husband of 50 years has just died. He always handled our finances, and I’m feeling at sea. How can I manage? 354
Q48. I’m 50 and contemplating a divorce after 25 years of marriage. My husband has always been the chief breadwinner and has been in control of our money. How can I cope? 363
Q49. I’m a widow and about to remarry. What should I be thinking about from a financial perspective? 369
Q50. I have a child with special needs. What can I do to make sure that she will always be taken care of? 374





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