How to Retire Happy [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Stan Hinden
eBook Category: Business
eBook Description: Everything You Need to Know about the 12 Most Important Decisions You Must Make before You Retire. Nearly 2 million Americans reach retirement age each year. Before anyone can begin to enjoy all the leisure time ahead, there are difficult decisions to be made about a host of crucial issues, such as Social Security, HMOs, insurance, and estate planning. Written by award-winning Washington Post financial reporter and syndicated columnist, Stan Hinden, How to Retire Happy arms anyone approaching retirement with easy-to-comprehend answers to all their complicated questions. How to Retire Happy: *Provides practical advice and guidance on the 12 most complicated decisions to make before retiring *Covers all the bases, from where to live to how to invest, from health insurance to taking money out of IRAs *Goes beyond financial planning to offer practical advice on the key emotional and psychological issues surrounding retirement
eBook Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, Published: 2002
Fictionwise Release Date: June 2002
2 Reader Ratings:
This is the book I wish I had been able to read before I retired. If I had, my monthly Social Security check would be fatter. My company pension would be better. My retirement savings account would be significantly larger. And I'd have a better chance of making my money last during what I hope will be a long retirement.
But that's not all. If I had known what I know now, I would have been better prepared, both psychologically and emotionally, for my retirement. I also would have had a keener appreciation for the life-enhancing opportunities and experiences that retirement can bring you.
I retired from the Washington Post in 1996. I was then 69 years old and had spent 23 years at the Post -- the last 12 years as a financial columnist -- writing about stocks and mutual funds. All told, I spent about 45 years in journalism as a reporter, writer, and editor.
Several months after I retired, I began writing a column for the Post called "Retirement Journal," which chronicled my experiences as a retiree. In essence, this book is the story of my retirement: what I learned and what I think you should know about the subject. My goal is to take the mystery out of retirement and to reduce the confusion that many retirees feel.
Shortly after I left my full-time job, I realized that I was woefully unprepared to make many of the decisions that are required of a retiree. I knew little, if anything, about Social Security, medicare, medigap, medicare HMOs, long-term-care, mandatory IRA withdrawals, pensions, and so on. But even though I was uninformed, I had to make far-reaching personal decisions on all of those subjects. Inevitably, as you will read, I made some bad decisions and learned some costly lessons.
The job of writing a regular column about my retirement experiences opened a window for me on a part of life that I had not known much about or even thought much about. Indeed, the more I learned, the more convinced I became that preparation and knowledge are the keys to a happy retirement.
It has been said that retirement is not an event, but a process. If so, that process should begin long before you turn in your retirement papers. It is simply not logical to expect that you can learn all you need to know to make major retirement decisions in a few days, or even a few weeks, as I tried to do.
So consider this book a reporter's firsthand report from the front lines of retirement. My hope is that this easy-reader tour will help future retirees better prepare for the day when they stop working full time. I also hope the book will help current retirees find ways to improve their retirement experiences.
Retirement in America was once a casual, even a drab, "You're over the hill" experience. It was a sign that the retiree was nearing the end of his or her productive life and was even getting close to the end of life itself.
Today, retirement in America has changed dramatically. It has become an upbeat, full-speed-ahead, "let's-start-a-second-career" experience, made possible by longer life spans, tax-deferred savings plans, and government-sponsored income and health programs.
How to Retire Happy has 12 chapters, each one dealing with one of the 12 key decisions retirees must make during the retirement process.
Some of the decisions are related to our attitudes toward life and work and the complex emotions that surround retirement. We are faced with many questions: How we feel about leaving our longtime friends and colleagues at work, how we feel about relocating to a new community, and even how we feel about growing older.
Some of our other decisions involve the web of government programs and regulations that affect all retirees. They include the age at which we take our Social Security payments, the way we manage our health care, and even how we make our mandatory IRA withdrawals when we reach age 70 1/2. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out your withdrawals -- although it would help.
Finally, there are the financial decisions that will determine whether you will have a comfortable or an uncomfortable retirement. I often think about that old saying, "I've been rich and I've been poor. Rich is better." Smart saving and investing can make the difference. But as the book points out, you will have to work at it.
Retirement is not a simple matter. But your retirement decisions will be a lot easier if you take the time to understand your choices. Then you can start having fun. A happy retirement is within everybody's reach. The time to start is now. The place to start is here.
Copyright © 2001 by Stan Hinden