Retirement Help for Real People

Sometimes you just need a little retirement help but you aren't sure where to start. Here we have the topics to get you going.

Grouped by topic for the type of help you may need, with links to additional, more detailed information.

Here are the topics on this page:

  • Withdrawing from retirement accounts
  • Tips on getting financial advice
  • Getting tax advice
  • Being sure you're ready for retirement
  • Or if you're not ready yet, what to do to prepare

Withdrawing from Retirement Accounts

There are several things to consider when you are ready to begin withdrawing from your retirement savings accounts.

If you are retiring early, there are age considerations for taxes and the types of accounts you should use.

There are also rules about when you must begin withdrawing your money whether you need it or not.

Withdrawing from IRA Accounts Types of Retirement Accounts 401k Early Retirement

Required Withdrawals

Retirement Help: Financial Advice

If you want financial advice from a professional advisor, which can be very helpful, you should consult a fee-only financial advisor who specializes in retirement planning.

These experts can walk you through all the things you should consider, which are mentioned on this site as well. They can help you determine your net worth, decide whether you have enough savings to meet your goals, and advise you on what types of investments you should be using to get the most from your money.

In addition, they can suggest ways of accomplishing your goals that you may not have considered before.

Don’t forget: use fee-only advisors!

Why Use Fee Only Advisors: This is important because this way you know they are working for you. Other types of advisors only get paid if you give them control of your money or you invest in funds they recommend. This is usually not in your best interest for retirement planning or investing!

More: Detailed Steps for Financial Planning for Retirement

Retirement Help: Tax Advice

There are special rules for handling retirement accounts in regards to taxes, especially when you retire early or when you are making the transition from work to retirement.

Roll-overs, lump sum distributions, 401k withdrawals each have special tax implications that you need to understand before you make any moves.

Read these pages, and then for more information consult a financial advisor (fee-only) with tax knowledge and/or your tax advisor, such as a CPA who understands retirement questions and is a tax expert as well.

One good place to start is your bank or the financial company who manages your retirement plan.

Another good resource is referrals. Ask the small business people near you to recommend a good CPA. Consult Angie's List.

I strongly recommend against consulting those businesses who do everyone’s taxes once a year. These are not the tax professionals you need because they typically hire data entry people and use tax software, and may not be the right tax professionals for your retirement tax planning.

Retirement Planning Guide: Taxes and Withdrawals


Retirement Help: Ready for Retirement

a camperRetirement travel and camping

Do you think you are ready for retirement but you want to make sure?

If that sounds like where you are, look at the section above on Financial Advice, as well as reading the other pages on this site.

No one can make the decision for you, so what you need to do is read, educate yourself, consult experts, and then decide.

It took me a full year of running the numbers, testing our budget, brainstorming for things I may have forgotten, and convincing my husband, before we were ready to retire. Then we did it!

Retirement Checklist Summary


Other Useful Retirement Information

If there is something specific you're looking for you can use this search tool to find the right article (top right column of each page.)

What insurance do you need?

The types of insurance you need will vary depending on whether you are going for semi-retirement or full retirement.

At a minimum you need these: Health Insurance, Long term care insurance, and possibly life insurance if you have a spouse or dependents.

If you need to work to supplement your retirement income in the early years, you may need disability insurance.


Early Retirement Planning

Social Security Early Retirement

Stories About Retirement by Other Real People