Retirement Fantasy Turned on its Head

People used to think that retirement was a time of placidity and relaxation, a time when all of life’s big surprises were behind you and most days and years would now bring an unchanging idyllic existence…

It seems unlikely that this was ever an accurate portrayal of any phase of human existence, including retirement, but people seemed satisfied to believe it at the time. Recent events, however, have put retirement under some serious scrutiny, and what has been found is that (especially lately) retirement is just as fraught with losses, gains, and unexpected changes as any other time of life—perhaps even more!

In retirement, as with anything else, foreknowledge and preparation can make all the difference. This recent article in U.S. News and World Report entitled 5 Big Financial Changes for Retirees in 2010 can perhaps help prepare retirees for what’s ahead. And in spite of what general opinion would have you think, the news isn’t all bad.

New Roth IRA rules and a suspension of mandatory retirement plan withdrawals are two changes that will work in retirees’ favor. But taking advantage of these changes could have a negative effect on your 2009 tax return if you don’t take precautions.

Contact your financial advisor or estate planning attorney for the low-down on how to best use, protect and preserve your retirement income. With the right preparation, you just may be able to have that relaxing (if not completely care-free) retirement after all.