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Planning for Retirement - More than Just Estate Planning

Estate planning is extremely important for those hoping to retire in comfort, as well as protect and pass on assets to loved ones. Estate planning, while legal in large part, also has a more accessible side. You cannot do everything on your own, but you can do some things.

As Ryan Guina explains in a recent article for U.S. World News & Report, there is plenty you can do to plan for retirement, and beyond, right now.

  • First off, how much debt do you have? Whether it is credit card debt, car payments or a bank loan - pay off your debts as soon as possible. Interest is money better put towards something else, so pay as little of it as possible by paying off your debts as quickly as possible.
  • When extra money pops up, stop and think before you spend it on something you don't really need. "Saving for a rainy day," as Guina puts it, gives you a bit of cushion when unexpected expenses arise. Sure, replacing the brakes won't be as fun as getting that flat screen television, but it will return more of the investment.

Aside from simply saving money and wisely managing debt, there will be times when you need to reach outside of yourself and seek help.

  • A financial planner can help you make sure your money is in the right places and, hopefully, making money for you. One place to spend money is on a good financial planner. Don't settle for less than your future is worth to you. It will be one added expense that you maybe should put some of those rainy day funds towards.
  • The legal side of estate planning, while not the entire picture, is a large part of it. Find an experienced estate planning attorney that you trust and enlist them in helping you set up an estate plan. This will help ensure your future, as well as the future or your loved ones.

Part intuition, part common sense, part knowing when to ask for help and a tiny bit of luck; managing your estate takes patience and energy. In the end, those who take the time usually find their endeavors well worth the effort.

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