5 steps to a rich-enough retirement

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If you drive a car without knowing where you want to go, who knows where you'll end up? The same thing applies to retirement. If you head out into the unexplored wilderness of later life with no plan, chances are you'll find yourself in a place where you don't want to be.

Money magazine offers 7 Secrets to a Richer Retirement. It's a little long, but if you've got lots of time, read it. If your schedule's tight, take a quick look at these 5 Steps to a Rich-Enough Retirement, gleaned from folks who have good retirement road maps and concise advice.


Step 1: Find something you love to do. 88-year-old Mort Walker, who has been creating the cartoon strip Beetle Bailey for the last 60 years, says cartooning is his passion and he has no reason to quit. Beetle can be read in 1,800 newspapers worldwide. Walker and three other people meet once a month to come up with ideas for the perpetual army private and his boss Sarge, then Walker takes the 30 best ideas, polishes them and turns them into cartoons. "You have to keep being creative," he says. "How could I retire and stop giving people their daily cartoon fix?"

Step 2: Have a solid financial blueprint. Lee Eisenberg, former editor-in-chief of Esquire, and author of The Number, a best-selling book about retirement, says when it comes to figuring out a retirement financial plan, too many Baby Boomers suffer from "IDD – "inspiration deficit disorder." So they are headed into retirement with no plan. "Unless they really want to spend the last days of their lives in government-run nursing homes, they should get off the dime and put some kind of plan in place," he says

Step 3: Don't quit earning money early. It costs too much. 114-year-old Walter Breuning of Great Falls, Mont., was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's oldest living man on his birthday, Sept. 21. Breuning's advice on retirement: "Stay working as long as you can and don't retire too early because you'll find out you need a little more money than what Social Security pays."

Step 4
. Stay healthy. Exercise guru Jack LaLanne, who will turn 96 on Sept. 26, has this to say about retirement: "When you slow down too much, you come to a stop. So many older people, they just sit around all day long and they don't get any exercise. Their muscles atrophy, and they lose their strength, their energy and vitality by inactivity."

Step 5. Have a good fallback plan. As 58-year-old country singer George Strait croons, "If you're headed down a one-way street and you're not sure it's the way you wanna go; In money or love or all the above ... you've got to have an ace in the hole."
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