Beating Retirement Stress

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As frightening as the state of both the national and international economy has become, it is even more stressful if you are at that certain age when you realize that retirement is not all that far away.
This realization comes at different times for different people and, more often than not, causes a great deal of stress.
While there isn't a lot you can do about the state of the economy, there are a lot of steps you can take to reduce the stress of impending retirement.
Here are just a few: Acknowledge Your Individual Reality You absolutely must be realistic about your current situation, your ultimate goals, and what it will take to make those goals a reality.
A very important part of realizing reality is setting realistic and achievable goals for your retirement.
If your current retirement plan is to win the lottery, you probably need to rethink a little bit.
Prioritize Retirement Planning You must look to yourself for the greatest part of your retirement income.
First, there is no guarantee that the two large federal government programs, Social Security and Medicare are going to be around in their current form by the time you reach retirement age.
Because of the large number of aging Americans, some changes to both programs are inevitable.
While what these changes will be is not yet known, what is certain is that you will need savings of your own to maintain your current lifestyle.
Start Saving More.
Right Now
If you aren't saving anything start immediately, even if it is just a few dollars a week.
If you already have a savings program, increase it.
Work to simplify your life and live within your means.
Understand that credit can be your enemy and use it wisely, if at all.
Utilize All Available Resources Possibly the highest cause of retirement planning stress is the fact that many of us are not familiar enough with the basics of finance and money management to have confidence in our decisions.
Much of this stress can be reduced by taking advantage of the free resources available.
You already know that the internet has a wealth of information available but it can be hard to sift through it all and a lot of information is contradictory.
But most local "junior colleges" offer free seminars on money management and these can be invaluable in helping you more fully understand the basics of how money works.
Another resource, but not free, are financial consultants.
Even if you can afford only one or two meetings the information you receive can be a huge benefit.
Additionally, consultants will often offer seminars open to the public in hopes of attracting new business.
Don't Give In To Stress Or Fear It is very easy to let terrible economic news paralyze you with fear and stress but you must not let that happen.
Take control and responsibility for your own situation and start doing something right now.
Even if your first step is small, the act of taking action will do a lot to reduce your stress and empower you to do even more.
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