It is common to procrastinate retirement planning because it can seem so far away, but starting as soon as possible can help by having time on your side.
It is more than just long-term retirement income you should plan for in the future. Long-term care, healthcare, medical expenses, and estate planning should be included. With 65 percent of seniors requiring long-term care at some point in their life, planning for more than just retirement income is essential.
The United States Department of Labor suggests planning your retirement income to last 30 years. This may seem like overkill, however the average American now lives 17 to 20 years past retirement age. This means that the average senior is living through their eighties. If you plan for 30 years of retirement income with Social Security, retirement accounts, and other investments, you avoid running out of funds later in life.
A retirement planner can help explain the rules of Social Security and help you receive the highest amount of the benefit. If you retire early at age 62, you will receive a lower monthly amount than if you can wait until the full retirement age of 66 (if you were born between 1943 and 1954). If you wait until age 70 ½ and not withdraw at least a minimum amount from your retirement accounts, you will be charged large tax penalties, typically a 50 percent tax.
If you are looking for a retirement planner, you will want one that is listed as a Certified Financial Planner or Advisor and specializes in retirement and estate planning. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) for the counties of Los Angeles, Santa Clara, San Benito, Santa Cruz, and Monterey lists close to two dozen financial advising firms in the area with ratings and reviews. The CFP (Certified Financial Planners) Board of Standards has a database with an advanced search feature. You can narrow your search to include financial planners that specialize in retirement planning, estate planning, and retirement income management. You can also search by investable assets, compensation, and language.
The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) can point you in the direction of a retirement planner that specializes in estate planning, retirement planning and investments. As of 2016, NAPFA lists 27 planners in 21 firms in a 40 mile radius in the Los Angeles area. Your friends, family, and coworkers may be able to recommend retirement planners in the area.
The City of Los Angeles Department of Aging provides resources to help you navigate senior life in the city, including legal services like government benefits, health law, housing laws, and powers of attorney. The Department also provides services for health insurance counseling, emergency alert response systems, senior employment, home modifications, and elder abuse education. The LA Department of Aging is open Monday through Friday from 8AM until 5PM. You can locate the office at 221 N. Figueroa Street, Suite 500 in downtown Los Angeles near 110 freeway and 101 freeway.
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