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How to Avoid Common Retirement Mistakes

Tuesday, 4 Nov 2008 | 4:20 PM ET

Question: I’m planning on retiring at the end of the year and I’m getting nervous. There seems to be a lot of conflicting information out there and I’m confused about getting it right. Help! --Kay, New Jersey

Answer: Kay - first, take a breath and relax. Retiring from ones employment can be a stressful time but it doesn’t have to be. Realize that it’s natural to be nervous, anxious and/or confused when you’re going through a major life change. Your decision to retire is causing you to step outside your comfort zone and is forcing you to make many new decisions and learn new things.

A retiree’s number one fear is the fear of outliving their money. If you’re like most people I help, you’re probably wondering if you will likely have enough money, after taxes and inflation, to live your life the way you wish to. Do you know if you will outlive your savings or will your savings outlive you? Most people don’t know the answer to this question but help is available. Talk with your HR department. Talk with friends or colleagues that have already gone through this transition. Attend retirement and investing workshops/seminars. Consider consulting with or hiring an advisor if you don’t already have one. Visit your local bookstore, pick up financial magazines, and of course, watch me on the show. There are plenty of resources available to you.

As a courtesy to On The Money viewers, I have prepared a free 30-page report, The 10 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Retiring & How YOU Can Avoid Them, that is available for download anytime from my website. It has been recently updated and contains simple, easy-to-understand information and instruction. Please visit MyRetirementSuccess.com and download your report today. Enjoy!

Bill’s Bottom Line: When you know, and you know you know, confidence replaces fear.

Bill Losey, CFP®, CSA, America's Retirement Strategist®, is the resident retirement planning expert on CNBC’s “On the Money”. He has been named one of America’s Top Financial Planners and is the author of Retire in a Weekend! The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Making Work Optional. He also publishes Retirement Intelligence, a free weekly award-winning newsletter. Bill can be reached online at www.MyRetirementSuccess.com.