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Do these 4 things to help you retire sooner

What’s standing between you and retirement?

And what do you need to do to make this dream a reality?

For many people, the answer is not that you need to save more money.

It’s that you need to be doing more with the money you’ve already saved.

Below are 4 specific steps that could help you retire much sooner than you ever thought possible…

1. Turn your investments into an income workhorse

Successful retirements are not built on assets, or by achieving some “magic number.” They’re built on your ability to generate income in retirement. But with record low interest rates on CD’s and savings accounts, anemic bond yields, and a fully valued stock market, many of the traditional, “go-to” options for generating income in retirement are no longer viable.

The good news is there are some surprisingly attractive options to generate income today that you may not even know exist. Speak with a qualified financial advisor to learn about all your options.

2. Have a strategy to get more out of your Social Security benefits

It’s hard to believe, but two different people with nearly identical scenarios (age, retirement date; income, etc.) could receive dramatically different amounts in Social Security benefits. I’m not talking about a few bucks here. I’m talking about tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in lifetime benefits.

So, don’t take your benefits at face value. Your strategy to claim Social Security should not be based on just the amount of your benefits, but also the impact this will have on your taxes, Medicare premiums, and spousal benefits. The best way to ensure you get the most out of your benefits is by getting a customized Social Security analysis.

3. Tax planning could help you keep more money in your pocket.

There’s a big difference between tax preparation, versus tax planning. Tax preparation is something you do with your Accountant or CPA every year. You’re simply reporting what happened last year. But if you want to reduce your taxes and keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket, this requires a forward-looking tax strategy.

Using tax planning strategies could help you save a small fortune in taxes in retirement. And the sooner you get started, the more you could potentially save.

4. Manage risk through the power of diversification

Diversification is one of the most underrated pillars of financial planning. Many people think that diversification is just having a mix of stocks, bonds and mutual funds. But there’s a lot more to it than that. Diversification will play a key role in other aspects of your financial game plan including taxes, income, and your investment returns.

The bottom line …

Having a strategy for income, Social Security, taxes and diversification could help you retire much sooner than you know. If you don’t have a strategy for any one of these items, you’re missing opportunities to make the most of your hard-earned savings and investments.

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