Six That Count

Dennis Friedman

WANT A LONG and prosperous retirement? Here are six numbers to pay attention to:

No. 1: Retirement savings. Add up all your retirement account balances and divide by 25. This will give you an estimate of what you can safely withdraw from savings in your first year of retirement.

No. 2: Social Security benefit. To your projected income from your nest egg, add your estimated Social Security benefit and any other retirement income you’ll likely receive. That’ll give you a handle on your annual retirement income. Is this enough to support your desired retirement lifestyle? If not, once retired, you may need to find a part-time job or reduce your spending.

No. 3: Credit score. Your score is based on your borrowing history and reflects the likelihood that you’ll repay your debts. Your FICO credit score can range from 300 to 850. Why is it so important? If you want to rent a home, get better terms on loan products, get the best credit cards, and qualify for lower homeowner’s and auto insurance premiums, you need a good score.

Nos. 4, 5 and 6: Blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. High blood pressure (hypertension), hardening of the arteries and diabetes are known as silent killers because you can have these conditions and not know it. They don’t usually cause any symptoms until they’ve done damage to crucial organs such as your heart, brain, kidneys, eyes and blood vessels. The best way to guard against these insidious diseases is to see your doctor regularly to have your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels checked.

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