The journey: Ten retirement resolutions for 2018

The journey: Ten retirement resolutions for 2018

January 28th, 2018 by Janet Kidd Stewart in Business Around the Region
For more articles about personal finance see the 2018 Your Money Guide page
New Year financial resolutions are like investor complaint filings with regulators: they typically wane during positive stock markets. In good times, the thinking must go, why do anything differently?

Take it from these retirement experts — from top advisers to a recent retiree himself — there is still plenty of room to improve your retirement picture in 2018:

Play mind games. With the latest Star Wars episode fresh in mind, author Jan Cullinane ("The Single Woman's Guide to Retirement," AARP/Wiley) is channeling her inner Jedi. She's using tricks from the world of behavioral economics to improve financial habits.

Reframe your thoughts on spending by calculating how many hours or days you need to work to afford whatever you are thinking of buying, she says.

Cut the cord. Catherine Collinson, CEO and president of the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, is cutting the cord on cable television in 2018. It's part of a personal tradition of setting savings goals each January and tracking the progress.

Redirect a payment. With their youngest child heading into her final semester of college, Marcia Mantell and her husband, Dan, are resolving to save the equivalent of those college tuition payments in their retirement accounts.

Avoid bitcoin. York University finance professor Moshe Milevsky, who has written extensively about annuities, is urging savers to take some stock-market profits from recent years and put them into annuities that pay income for life in 2018. And, "stay away from bitcoin, etherium and other cryptocurrencies," he says.

Spend more. Most retirement books and articles boil down to "spend less, save more." James Bourdeau, 69, a retired physician in Satellite Beach, Fla., resolves to do the opposite now that retirement is here.

Bourdeau says: "As a physician, I've seen people age and it can happen very fast, so we are willing to spend more upfront in retirement and worry a less about the tail end than perhaps others might, knowing that this spending will change as time goes by."

Speak up at work. Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, suggests workers communicate their desire for a long career path.

"If they let it be known that they want to work well into their 60s, they improve their attractiveness to their employer," she said.

Forget retirement. Finally, Michael Kitces, a partner with Pinnacle Advisory Group and publisher of the blog Nerd's Eye View, is trying to forget the word retirement.


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