It's Your Money: Retirement strategies - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

It's Your Money: Retirement strategies


MADISON (WKOW) -- Rising prices and lower returns on investments have many retired people understandably worried. 

But it's beyond that for some - they've gone into panic mode. 

In tonight's It's Your Money report, keeping your cool and your nest egg intact.

These are uncertain times for our nation's economy and for many of our personal financial situations.   Job cuts, rising prices on basic necessities and a down stock market have many retirees and soon-to-be retirees justifiably concerned.

"Don't panic.   That's the biggest thing," Dane County Financial Education Center Administrator Debra Neubauer says.

But Neubauer admits that's easier said than done.  She, and almost every other financial expert out there, says one of the most important temptations to resist right now is to take money out of designated retirement accounts like ira's and 401k's before you're retired.   It's also not advised that retirees move investments too much.

"The strategy of a good farmer: plant the seeds, let them grow," Neubauer says.  "If you keep pulling them out and re-planting them time after time, your yield is going to be less and it's going to cost you a lot more money."

And if you do have to take money from a 401K, experts recommend you take out a loan rather than a withdrawl.   You won't have to pay taxes on a loan as you would a withdrawl and you're making the commitment to replace that retirement money.

Deb Neubauer also notices that many older retirees today already have an advantage in tough times: many have been through it before.

"Seniors, I think, have a better understanding of what it's like to live within your means because they're used to that, they're from a different generation," Neubauer says.

And, as far as those day-to-day expenses, Neubauer reminds seniors to be diligent.

"Make sure you're taking advantage of all the benefits available to you," she says.  "Many restaurants and different retailers offer a discount if you're 55 or older.   You want to make sure you're taking advantage of all those types of things."

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