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HUNT VALLEY, Md. (
TheStreet) -- Retirement is hardly as easy as stopping work on Friday and breaking out the golf clubs on Saturday. Here are 10 things to think about before your co-workers take you out for a final, celebratory meal:
1. Plan at least 10 years before expected retirement to alleviate stress. It's actually very stressful for the 12 months before and the 12 months after your actual retirement. If you have not planned, you are merely hoping it'll be OK; seeing and knowing that the numbers work will alleviate a whole lot of stress.
Retirement is hardly as easy as stopping work on Friday and breaking out the golf clubs on Saturday.
2. Keep track of your monthly, yearly and decade-long expenses. The cash flow analysis is the most important retirement planning tool and yet it is probably only maintained by 10% of those over age 50. This invaluable tool will help you save, budget and moderate your spending to achieve your retirement goals.
3. Do not overspend on sending your child to college. All the statistics show that whether someone graduates from Harvard or a big state school has no bearing on the child's success in their career. Set a strict budget for college that fits into your retirement goals and have your child choose a school that meets that budget.
4. Reconsider your entire risk management plan as soon as your children have graduated from college. Liability, medical and long-term care are far more important as we head into our 60s. Do not do a risk management analysis with an insurance agent that will make a commission selling the product. Work with an unbiased, objective adviser who is fee-only in their compensation to determine your insurance needs.
5. Understand your company benefits and make sure you know how they work and how they coordinate into your overall retirement plan. Too often people want to retire at age 62 but don't have retiree medical insurance and now have a huge expense to carry for three years until they can begin Medicare.