In Consultation

In Consultation

Getting Your Head Out of the Sand: Issues to Consider When Planning for Retirement

By Robert Caldwell

November/December 2007

Q: I'm a 50-year-old, self-employed therapist in private practice, and I'm really worried about having enough money for retirement! What should I do?

A: You're not alone! Concerns about the sufficiency of retirement income are a constant worry of the baby-boomer generation, to which you and I belong. What are these concerns about a financially comfortable retirement? The obvious one is sufficient cash flow to maintain your accustomed standard of living, but other significant things are general inflation, rapidly rising health care costs (including health insurance), increasing federal, state, and local taxes, and financial pressures from family members, such as aging parents or college-age children or grandchildren. Many of your clients are facing these same concerns, and their angst is fueled daily by the financial press and media. Let's take a look at some proactive things you can do.

To begin with, consider what retirement means to you and to your spouse or partner, if applicable. Does it include continuing to work? Perhaps it does, but that might mean work at a second career that you've dreamed of for years. Perhaps retirement for you is a combination of work, service to others, and leisure. Or it might be pure leisure and travel. When I began my training in financial planning some 30 years ago, we talked about the "three-legged stool" of retirement income: employee benefit plans, Social Security, and personal savings. Now the stool has become a…

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