Well-known financial journalist and leading commentator on personal finance Jane Bryant Quinn recently offered advice on avoiding retirement mistakes.
The bad news is, that she leads off the article for the American Association of Retired Persons magazine with a warning against taking that important step too early.
“Before you retire, figure out a solid retirement budget first,” Quinn wrote. “Just by working a few more years, you can make your future more secure. If you lose your job, look for part-time work.”
Quinn goes on to advise retiring with outstanding credit card debt and car loans.
“And even consider prepaying your mortgage, too,” she suggested.
Further the journalist advises against accessing Social Security when it becomes available as opposed to when it’s advisable.
“It’s tempting to grab your Social Security benefit as soon as it’s there, at age 62,” Quinn wrote. “If you do, however, the amount of your benefit will be cut by 25 percent, a cut that affects you for life.”
While cash and bonds can help a retiree through the initial years, investing in stocks is vital for the period after that, according to the commentator.
In addition, Quinn suggests that people expect to live to a ripe old age, and plan accordingly so that if and when they reach 95 they are still in good financial shape.
Finally, Quinn warns against failing to protect a spouse.
“If you have a pension, it should cover your spouse’s life as well as yours, unless your spouse has plenty of money of his or her own.”