Does your retirement future look as bright as it used to?
Abstract: Many people approaching their “golden years” are understandably nervous about opening their retirement plan statements these days. Although leaving the workforce — and a steady income — behind during the current economic downturn probably isn’t ideal, it may still be possible to retire in style. But it’s important to look at finances. How lavish a retirement is desired? Will there be enough money for health care? Beyond Social Security, one must look to a tax-advantaged retirement plan, such as a 401(k), IRA, or simplified employee pension (SEP). Or one can work longer, but retirement plan minimum distribution requirements take effect at age 70½ (although, as a sidebar explains, these have been suspended for 2009).