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Planning for retirement - what to know before you claim

Planning for retirement - what to know before you claim
PHOTO COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK

If you haven't started planning for retirement, it's easy to understand why. It's confusing. You're constantly bombarded with different advice about how much money you need to save, and it's never pretty.

Some financial planners say you'll need to save $2 million, just to maintain your current lifestyle. Other financial planners say you'll need about $1 million. However, they've always got a "but" in there. "But, you'll need more if your spouse gets sick," or "But, you'll need more if there's another housing bubble."

Most of the time, those financial planners forget to mention that you'll have a little financial cushion from Social Security. No matter what current presidential hopefuls are saying, you can rest assured that you'll receive some money each month when you retire.

But how much? The United States government has the answer for you, and it couldn't be easier to get it.

On the U.S. government site, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Before You Claim page, you just input a couple of details about yourself. Input your birthday and the dollar amount in the year you made the most money.

In just a minute, you'll see what age you can retire to receive your full Social Security benefit, whether it's 67 years old or 65, and how much it'll be. Then, you can see how much money you'll receive if you retire before or after that age. (See photo below.)

CFPB's Before You Claim

Next page: Tips for your retirement
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