For my husband and I, retirement planning has mostly taken the form of dreams, not planning. My husband wants to buy a boat, and cruise around the world during retirement. I fine with the boat, but not so sure about traveling around the world. An ocean crossing in a small boat – no thanks! But we can work out those details later, and where ever we end up taking a boat we need to start planning to make our dreams a reality.
I first thought about retirement when I got my first job after college, and had to decide whether or not to contribute to a 401k. I set up my contributions, and promptly forgot about it. That has pretty much been how my husband and I have approached retirement – we have always contributed to retirement accounts, but haven’t really done anything else. After job changes and transfers, we now have a few different accounts between us, but how much are they worth? I have no idea! With our 50s rapidly approaching, we need to stop dreaming and start actually planning for retirement.
To help I recently watched the public television special “Don’t Worry, Retire Happy” with Tom Hegna, and I learned a lot. One big thing I came away from the show realizing is that we still have time to make decisions and plans. The show presents 7 steps that allow you to feel on track and in charge of your retirement plans. Like us, most Americans have the time, financial resources and courage to retire happy, but they just need a little help getting there. As Americans, we can define our own retirement, and make our dreams come true.
Through the program I learned about Social Security claiming strategies, which was not something I had ever heard of before. It turns out there are lots of options about how and when to claim Social Security, and your decisions have a big impact on your retirement income. It is not the simple decision I thought it was! Retirement income planning is another big topic of the show, because a regular retirement income contributes to peace of mind.
The program wasn’t dry and boring, because Tom Hegna is a dynamic speaker who includes quite a bit of humor in his presentation. And it wasn’t a sales pitch either, it was all about becoming informed and knowing what your options are. There are many different options and ways to have a fulfilling retirement, and I feel better informed after watching the show.
So if your retirement ideas are bigger on dreams than plans, check out the Don’t Worry,Retire Happy TV special on your Public Television station. You can find your local station and schedule at http://www.pbs.org/, and start implementing the steps you need to achieve retirement security.
This blog post on “Don’t Worry, Retire Happy: The 7 Steps to Retirement Security”, is sponsored by State Farm®. I accepted the opportunity to participate and want my readers to know that the opinions and statements expressed in this post are completely my own.