Unplanned Early Retirement Now During the Pandemic?

Let’s face facts here. Millions of people are out of work right now and despite the mantra of “we gotta get back to work” being chanted by everyone, the truth is that many jobs will be permanently lost even as we reopen the country. Businesses are closing for good all over the place and larger ones are cutting back, if not closing. Businesses are changing and becoming much more quickly tech driven and that means many older workers may no longer have the skills they need to adapt to a changing work environment. It all means that “retirement” may be the only real viable road for many after the COVID-19 pandemic. An unplanned early retirement.

One of the side effects of the pandemic is unplanned early retirement for many younger seniors. Here's what you need to consider.

This Year 2020

More people will retire this year than in any year I can recall. Some of that is because of the pandemic. The forced job loss and the mere fact that many just won’t be able to find work again, especially older workers, will push the number higher.

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When Does Having a Mortgage Really Suck?

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Let me be the first person (today at least!) to tell you that owning your own home is a great idea. If you are looking to help build your financial wealth over time, then buying a home is a great way to build equity. It also has lots of money-saving benefits for you as well.

Mortgages are great in that they let many people afford homes, but at a certain point in life, they suck. Having a mortgage in retirement should be avoided.

The alternative to owning your own home is of course renting. Renting is very much like having a big hole that you keep pouring your money into and it never gets filled up. Even in 2020, and with my 70 years on planet earth, owning a home is still a pretty desirable goal to have and a good way to build wealth.

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Safe Investments for the Retirement Mindset

The closer you get to your retirement, the fewer risks you should be taking with your money and investments. That’s just good common sense, because you can’t find yourself after you stop working “losing” value in your nest egg or you will be in for real trouble. But it isn’t as easy as it sounds, because while you are looking for something that’s really “safe” and carry at most minimal risk, you are also looking for something with some kind of growth so you can keep ahead of inflation at the very least. So how do you find safe investments when you are in the retirement mindset?

As your approach retirement, it's important to have safe investments that will last as well as some growth. Here are some safer investments to consider.

Diversify Your Investments

The best investment advice for anyone, retiree or not quite there yet, is to diversify. That’s because it is a way to avoid putting all of your eggs into just one basket and gives you a hedge or safety net on exactly what happens in a typical market cycle.

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Forecasts Call for No Social Security COLA for 2021

It may be a little early to think about the potential Social Security COLA (cost of living adjustment) changes for 2021, but the writing might just already be on the wall. The pandemic, which is wreaking havoc with every facet of our lives right now, is also now targeting next year’s potential adjustments in the COLA and Social Security payments. Not very good news, is it?

While forecasters predict there will be no Social Security COLA for 2021, there's more to know. Read on about deflation and what it means for the future.

With inflation likely to barely register this year, forecasters say that there will simply be no Social Security COLA for 2021. The COLA, which will be officially set in October 2020, would be zero, zilch, nada, nil. And that means no change in benefits next year for millions of Social Security beneficiaries. That is a blow that many just can’t take.

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Is the Pandemic a Retirement Dress Rehearsal?

Most everyone thinks and worries about money whenever the subject of retirement is discussed. That totally makes sense because having enough money is such an important part of your retirement. With it, you can take care of yourself and enjoy life to the fullest, and when you don’t have enough of it, you are in some danger and high risk. I can write volumes about money and the ways to approach it when it comes to retirement and you will agree or disagree, but right now you may be dealing with another huge piece of the retirement planning puzzle.

We often plan financially for retirement, but what about how you'll spend your time? This pandemic might just be a dress rehearsal for retirement planning.

That piece is a real life experience that over 30 million of us are now getting because of the COVID-19 pandemic and that is this: “How are you spending your time when you do not have to get up and go to work every day?” Is this like a dress rehearsal for your retirement?

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Yes, I Made It to Annuity Day!

Well, it finally happened. The check actually was in the mail and it came right on schedule, too. Twenty years ago, I decided to add an annuity to my retirement planning program and it kind of snuck right up on me. That was a really pleasant surprise. In a world where the annuity often has its detractors (and perhaps with good reason), I am pretty happy with it. I felt for me it was a good decision. Depositing that annuity check for $483.46 (the first of 240 for the next 20 years!) has comforted me quite a bit since February 1st. With the market in chaos, even more so in the past several weeks, I guess it’s congratulations to me! I made it to annuity day and now another of my nest eggs has hatched!

After opening an annuity 20 years ago, I finally made it to annuity day and received my first payment. Annuities can be a good idea in certain situations.

What Is an Annuity?

An annuity technically is not an investment. First and foremost, an annuity is an insurance product, which means you buy it because it reduces your risk. Some annuities, like variable annuities, do have a selection of stock and bond portfolios available as investment choices inside the insurance contract, but the one I bought was a fixed rate annuity which for me had no investment risk on my return and payout. I knew 20 years ago what I would be getting back to the penny when I bought it.

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The Screwed-Up Social Security System

Based on what you earn throughout your lifetime, you become eligible for Social Security retirement benefits when the time comes. That time can vary from person to person for many reasons, because once you hit age 62 you become eligible to get it, but you can wait for years if you choose to, even up to age 70.

When it comes to the Social Security system, there are a few things that can keep you from maximizing your benefits. Here are some of the gotchas to beware.

But despite the success and importance of the Social Security plan, the system suffers from problems and mistakes. Sometimes mistakes are made by the Social Security Administration (SSA). And sometimes you make them yourself. Why?

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How to Avoid Paying Income Tax in Retirement

Everyone has to deal with taxes; they’re oftentimes unavoidable. But if you play your cards right, you can spend as little money as possible on them. You may even be so lucky as to avoid paying income tax altogether in retirement and get this… the government might actually give you money when tax season rolls around in a little something called the EITC, the Earned Income Tax Credit.

You can maximize your finances if you avoid paying income tax in retirement. Here are 9 types of money that aren't taxed, plus money you might get for free!

Retirement won’t save you from the tax forms and some headaches, but there is money you get that Uncle Sam can’t touch, as long as you play by the rules. And you have to know and understand the rules to win this game. So pay attention now and learn how you can actually avoid paying any income taxes on these things when you hit retirement!

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