Before You Tap Into That Retirement Account . . .

The WSJ posits 10 questions to ask yourself before you retire:

A steady paycheck is one of life’s comforts. Once or twice a month, the money lands reassuringly in your lap.

Until, that is, you retire. And then it stops.

Suddenly, unless a traditional pension is close at hand, you are the one who has to make sure that the money lands in your lap. And you — and those who depend on you — will suffer if you don’t.

After decades of saving for later life, millions of Americans are getting ready to crack open their nest eggs. But are they ready? We asked financial advisers across the country to identify the most important questions investors should ask themselves before withdrawing dollar one from their savings. If you can answer these questions, or simply consider these issues, your chances for a secure retirement should be better than most.

That’s the intro — the specific questions are as follows:

• Am I starting at the right time?

• Can I do this myself, or should I get help?

• What are my plans for my nest egg?

• Have I estimated my expenses in retirement?

• Do I understand my options — and the possible pitfalls — when leaving work and taking my nest egg with me?

• What is a realistic rate of withdrawal from my savings?

• Do I have a withdrawal strategy?

• Have I factored life expectancy and inflation into my plans?

• Should I buy an annuity?

• Do I have a backup plan?

For those investors getting near retirement age, this is a god starting list . . . 

Before You Open That Nest Egg …

Ten questions to ask before taking the first dollar out of your retirement savings

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, December 12, 2005; Page R1

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  1. Lord commented on Dec 18

    I wonder if anyone knows how many retirements are by choice and how many are forced. Planning and choice are nice but much is beyond control.

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