How to handle finances when only one spouse retires

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How to manage finances when one spouse retires – and the other doesn't
More often than not, married couples do not retire at the same time, and this should be taken into account when they plan for retirement, according to this article from U.S. News & World Report Yahoo Finance. The partner who first reaches the age of 62 should consider delaying Social Security benefit until the age of 70. And the working spouse should continue to contribute to their own 401(k), and also may be able to contribute money to the nonworking spouse's IRA. "If his or her employer offers a 401(k) match, continue taking advantage of that free money and stay in the mindset of saving. The benefit of staggering your retirement is that both people are not tapping into the retirement savings at the same time," says a financial adviser.

Can clients become millionaires on an average salary?
Many people’s view of retirement entails $1 million in their piggy bank, but such a goal can be a challenge for those with modest income, according to this article on CNNMoney. Clients who start saving early have greater odds of reaching the $1 million mark than late savers. Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with an average annual return of 7%, 20-year-old workers will need to save $306 every month to end up with $1 million in retirement, while 40-year-old clients should set aside $1,466 to retire with the same amount.

The shockingly small amount Americans have in retirement savings
A study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute has found that a big number of Americans have less than $25,000 in retirement savings, while another study by PricewaterhouseCoopers shows that baby boomers have not saved enough to provide the income that they need after they retire, according to this article on Motley Fool. Depending on Social Security for retirement income might not be a good idea, as their retirement benefits would just be about 40% of their pre-retirement income. Clients should start building their nest eggs by increasing their retirement savings rate to as much as 15% of their income and raising the rate by 1% to 2% every year.

For inflation protection, stay the course, diversify
Experts in a forum discuss inflation protection and conclude that no specific asset class can mitigate the risk at all times, according to this article on Morningstar. As such, they recommend that investors should stick to their investing plan and diversify their retirement portfolio to protect their assets from inflation. Clients should also avoid timing the market, invest in more inflation protecting securities, and rebalance their portfolio conscientiously, says an expert.

How to avoid the Medicare Part-D penalty
Seniors should enroll in Medicare Part-D prescription-drug coverage as soon as they turn 65, when they qualify for Medicare, according to this article on Kiplinger. Those who have "creditable" drug coverage from Tricare or from an employer or retiree health insurance plan are not compelled to sign up for Part-D coverage. Seniors who have not signed up for the coverage for more than 63 days face a hefty late-enrollment penalty, which is equivalent to 1% of the "national base beneficiary premium" times the number of months without having the coverage.

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