Can't retire quite yet: Step-by-step transition plan

Dec 23, 2011, 6 a.m.

Assuming you already have a retirement investment strategy in place that has put some money into your savings account, assuming you have the date picked out and everything, there are still a few steps you need to take in order to ensure that your retirement goes off without a hitch. These three transitional steps are very important but frequently neglected. Check these off before you accept that gold watch.

Ensure that money is coming in

In the old days, people could work until they were retirement age and then simply call it a day with what they'd saved. Today, in this unpredictable economy, this isn't enough. A retirement income planner will tell you to look into solid investments in order to keep money flowing in.

Keep some liquid assets

Liquid assets, things like property and precious metals and so on, are really the only reliable wealth anymore. Inflation might put the dollar at half the peso in the coming years, but an acre of land, a two story condo, and a couple gold bars will always be worth something.

Plan a lifestyle consistent with your retirement funds

It doesn't make sense to retire and then keep spending money like you're still working. Making your savings last means living a lifestyle that is if not entirely "cheapskate," then at least frugal, intelligent and conservative. Luckily, by the time you reach retirement age, living well on a budget becomes second nature.

If you have a sizable retirement account waiting for you and a good sense of how to save and spend wisely, you should have no problems, but make sure to check these three items off the list before you clean out your desk.

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