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Retiring with a mortgage: Should you sell your house?

If you are thinking about retiring in the near future, but are worried about how to pay the mortgage, then maybe you should consider selling, paying the mortgage off and downsizing?

With more and more people stepping on to the property ladder later in life, it has become common to carry mortgages well into retirement. Paying off your mortgage and moving is a good idea if you feel that you can’t keep up with the monthly payments after your working wage stops.

Assess your retirement savings

Before you make the transition into retirement, you must assess your savings. If you think you’ve got enough savings to last you through retirement comfortably making mortgage payments then it’s probably best that you don’t budge. .

However, if the interest rate on your mortgage overshadows the growth potential of your savings then paying off your home loan quickly by selling your house may be the best idea for you.

Cashing in your pension early

For some, retirement promises a debt-free life, eliminating monthly payments and bills. If you want to say goodbye to your mortgage for good but don’t have the available funds. you could cash in your pension.

However, this should not be taken lightly, carefully consider the consequences if you are thinking of taking this step.

Downsize your property

Instead of eradicating your mortgage completely, you could always consider downsizing your property and moving the mortgage on to a different building.

Sell your current property to pay off the existing mortgage. Then move to a smaller property where the mortgage payments are much less. You could even apply for a reverse mortgage, available for the over 65s, which converts part of the equity of the home into cash so that the mortgage provider pays money to the borrower.

Home equity

If you are hoping to use your home equity to cover some of your living expenses, then selling up is probably not the option for you. Keeping your existing mortgage will be cheaper than paying off the rest of your housing debt and taking out a home equity loan.

The process behind making a solid retirement plan may seem daunting, and every aspect should be carefully considered before any drastic decisions are made. What is right for some retirees, may not be the right thing for you to do, but it’s good to know that you do have options.

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Health Insurance Programs for Retirees

Everyone should take care of personal health but when you reach the retirement age the issue of health maintenance comes to the fore. The government provided its citizens with the opportunity to use a variety of customized health insurance plans. With that purpose Affordable Care Act was issued but it doesn’t mean that Medicare ceased to exist. Though the act doesn’t determine health insurance programs for retirees it determines changes in plans which occur after retirement.

You have several healthcare options after your retirement and you are free to choose the most appropriate one. If you were covered by an employer, through a self-funded program you may leave that Medicare plan as basic but there are different additional available plans that may complement your primary health coverage or even substitute it. You may choose the simplest and the most inexpensive plan if you feel that you can do well without doctors. There are many people who take care of their health since youth and they don’t need to waste money neither on expensive health insurance nor on visiting doctors. And in emergency cases they always can use cash loans and still it will be much cheaper than having an advanced health insurance.

And here is some information about different health insurance plans for people at the retirement.

Basic healthcare for retirees
Government provides and finances Medicare program which covers people after retirement and some invalid people. It covers fundamental health care costs which are common for people from these groups. Medicare doesn’t cover the full cost of medication and there are some conditions which determine who and how much coverage will get. There are three different directions of costs which are covered by Medicare.
1. The first plan covers traditional hospitals and specializing hospitals stays. It is called the primary hospitalization plan.
2. The second plan is the main health coverage and it includes medical advisers, ambulant clinics, laboratory studies, and so on.
3. And the last plan covers medicines costs.
You can have one of these plans in your health insurance program or all three at once if it is needed. You will not have to pay any money for the first plan if you have stayed with Medicare and Social Security for 10 employable years. For the second part consumers have to pay from $105 to $150 depending on your annual income. And the last part may be acquired through private insurers and its price varies depending on the provider.

Advantage Plans
Such health insurance comes from Medicare but it is provided by private insurers. Some people find that it is more beneficial to use Medicare Advantage rather than the conjunction of three previous plans. Different providers of Medicare Advantage Plans suggest various prices which depend on the state rules where the consumer lives as well as it depends on services which are included in the plan. That is why it is better to visit several providers and to choose the most appropriate one.

Supplemental Insurance
Consumers may also purchase “Medigap” – a Medicare Supplemental Insurance provided by private insurers which covers costs that are not included into the first and second plans. Medigap doesn’t provide long-term insurance that is why it should be purchased separately.

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Watch Out For These Common Retirement Plan Missteps

So a person has taken the first financial steps into making a future that when she or he finally leaves the office, that nest egg will make the retirement a good one. Now, it is time to make sure those first steps do not lead into a stumble that hurts your savings. Here are some pitfalls to look out for.

Insufficient Planning

Like in any other strategy, short-term planning or creating plans with little information make all other pitfalls look quaint. For example, does the individual know the differences between stocks and bonds? Have they made sure their portfolio is actually diversified or do they just have same type of stocks across different mutual funds? These are just some things to consider about as you prepare your retirement strategy.

Staying Still

It might not be in the nature of a retiree to make as many risks as he or she used to. However, if a person is not willing to adapt to the changes even at that late a stage then their retirement is already in danger. It is unwise to make an entire retirement plan hinge on outside factors like a perpetually stable market or no raises in healthcare costs. That way of thinking about will insure a bad hit on anyone’s retirement savings.  The best way to fight this is to be fluid in all aspects of retirement. A willingness to change strategies and a close eye on market shifts will hold savings in a safe position for it to grow.

No Portfolio Diversity

This is a pitfall that sadly many fall because of the dreaded fear of making a portfolio that has anything else than bonds. The word “stocks” bring thoughts of ruin, especially after the 2008 US market crash. However, stocks are a safer choice than most think. Historically, they have done better than bonds in producing income in the last few decades. This does not even include other options like mutual funds, real estate, or even investing in a local business.  The potential growth increase with a spread-out portfolio is something no investor should overlook.

Cashing Out Too Soon

Making an early withdrawal of money from a retirement account can affect an investor in many ways. A very dangerous withdrawal plan that is an example of this is when taking out loans from a 401(k) account. What makes it a bad idea is that the money loaned is double-taxed – first from the after-tax money from the loan itself, and then again when you withdraw money from the retirement account later. Of course, there is also the loss of compound interest since the overall amount in the account has lowered. If a person looked at their retirement income solutions ahead of time, he or she would see this error.  The answer to this is simple: Don’t make these costly withdrawals, and make sure to always have cash on hand as you put money into your retirement account.

The process of creating a retirement plan is something too important to be passive about. The options and possible mistakes can be daunting, but with enough homework and help the path to retirement can be a smooth one.

Post by Isabel

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How to Plan Ahead for Your Retirement

2036 is the landmark year in which Social Security funds will be exhausted. So for future generations, this means there have to be other options to plan for retirement. While a lot of people don’t like the idea of increasing the amount of money that comes out of their checks for future retirement, but there are plenty of options for saving for retirement that won’t break the bank today. If you haven’t already, check out these options for saving for retirement.

1. 401(k) and Pension

Many government agencies and successful companies offer a 401(k) or Pension plan for their employees, which are generally approached in three ways. A company can provide full funding to a plan as long as the employee works for the company for a particular length of time. Another option is for you to contribute fully to your plan, and the employer actively searches for the best sources so you can get the greatest return for your contributions. The third is a matching program a lot of employers do; you simply add what you desire to your plan and the employer will match a certain percentage of your contributions. Even if your employer uses the first option, it is always a good idea to contribute money to the 401(k) plan yourself, as that will help it accrue much more interest over time.

2. Roth IRA

Because a Roth IRA relies solely on your contributions, much like a savings account, it is the best deal for you. This is because the income you place in a Roth IRA is already taxed, so when it gets distributed upon your retirement, those funds will not be taxed. On top of that, Roth IRA accounts are insured by the federal government for up to $100,000.

You can easily contribute money from your paycheck or money you make on the side to your Roth IRA account. A lot of people can find easy side work to do for small amounts of money that can be held in a Roth IRA. Consider offering your talents or hobbies as a service, or take paid online surveys at SurveyHead.com. Though the money is not comparable to your income, it is nice to have that little extra to put away.

3. Stock Market

The stock market is a risky venture, but is an opportunity for everyone to get integrated into the American economy. Investing in the right stocks is a guaranteed way to get you on the fastest route to earning money, especially in a slowly recovering economy. Even if you are on a budget, you can still invest money in penny stocks or other low-priced stocks on the market.

4. Equity

Not many people are aware that they can make money simply by being consistent with their mortgage payments for an extended period of time. Paying off your mortgage on time each month will build up your home’s equity, which you can later bank on. Once you reach the age of retirement, your children will most likely have moved out, leaving you with more extra space than you need. Because your home has built up equity, you can sell your home for a better price than what you paid, and move into a smaller home with a suitable amount of space.

Planning for your retirement should not be stressful, as there are plenty of easily accessible opportunities to save and invest to ensure that you have a steady and healthy retirement income.

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Social Security Benefits for your Spouse

You may know how to calculate social security benefits for yourself when you retire. But did you know that when you retire, your spouse also receives benefits? As a retired worker eligible for social security, benefits for your spouse will be 50% of your benefits, if he or she retires at full retirement age.
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