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  • Begin by examining the factors that affect your standard of living: the inflation rate, investment risk, your mortgage or other liabilities (if any), your desired retirement age and any available income sources.

    If you haven’t already, begin by simply listing your current expenses and income annually or monthly. Then make a projection based on your expectations of future expenses and income. It doesn’t have to be exact, just a realistic estimate. This gives you a true picture of where you are today and can guide your future financial decision making.

    Knowing your income needs will help you determine how best to diversify your portfolio to minimize market downside risk, what strategies to use to maximize Social Security Benefits and what room you may have currently to maximize your retirement contributions (if any).

    Reviewing this for yourself first should help you when reviewing your specific situation with a qualified advisor to determine how to maintain your standard of living.
    This article may help you learn more about Social Security Benefit optimization: http://www.newretirement.com/Services/Social-Security-Benefits.aspx

    The NewRetirement.com also has a calculator that can help assess your situation and determine how much money you will need to maintain your standard of living. The link to the calculator is https://www.newretirement.com/retirement-calculator/default.aspx

    This answer is provided as general information only and provided by Master’s students pursuing a degree in Personal Financial Planning at Texas Tech University. No warranty is made regarding the fitness or accuracy of the information provided in this answer. You should seek advice from a licensed CPA, attorney or Certified Financial PlannerTM as to your unique financial situation.

  • Login to rate this answer:   Answered on 4/23/2013
**All above answers are provided as general information only. No warranty is made regarding the fitness or accuracy of the information provided in this answer. You should seek advice from a licensed CPA, attorney or CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ as to your unique financial situation.