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Six That Count

Dennis Friedman, 4:12 am ET

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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Ormode
Ormode
2 months ago

So if you’ve got a couple million dollars in a non-retirement account, that’s not on the list? I would beg to differ. Wealth outside of retirement accounts offers you a lot more flexibility in taking income and avoiding paying excessive taxes.

Jonathan Clements
Admin
Jonathan Clements
2 months ago
Reply to  Ormode

Of course non-retirement account balances count — assuming the money is still there come retirement. Dennis was simply referring to all money earmarked for retirement, rather than for other goals, such as the kids’ colleges.

David Powell
David Powell
2 months ago

If you have had high cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose for a long time, and are wondering about the health of your heart’s arteries, for about $200 or $300 you can get a CT cardiac calcium score. With that knowledge, and follow-up with your doctor or cardiologist, and improvements in diet and exercise, heart disease does not have to be a silent killer.

Randy Dobkin
Randy Dobkin
2 months ago
Reply to  David Powell

Yes, cut down on sugar and check out intermittent fasting to avoid problems with insulin resistance and everything that causes too.

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