5 steps to making sure you're ready to retire

1. Coordinate with your spouse If you're part of a twosome, retirement doesn't just affect you; it's a profound lifestyle change for your entire family. Before you take the leap, get on the same page as your spouse. Will you both be retiring, or will your spouse work longer? If your spouse is planning to maintain a career, will you end up being responsible for more household tasks — and are you OK with that? These questions need to be answered. You'll also have to think through how your decision will affect your family finances — especially when it comes to Social Security benefits. If you're claiming Social Security benefits early, you'll reduce the monthly benefits you receive for the rest of your life — as well as any survivors benefits your spouse could receive if he or she were to outlive you. Devise a Social Security claiming strategy with your spouse before you file for benefits that maximizes your combined income, as you can't easily change your plans once benefits have begun. 2. Figure out where your income will come from
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