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Recession Proof Your Retirement Without Stress

We all need to recession-proof our retirements. These nine steps from America's De-Stress Diva, Ruth Klein, will help remove the stress from yours.

Today's struggling economy means that you are going to have to recession-proof your retirement, right now! Here are nine steps to take the stress out of retirement planning.

1. Acknowledge reality. There are many impediments in saving enough money for your retirement, so try to read pertinent articles, do internet research and gain understanding for yourself to reduce stress. Don't allow the dismal statistics to paralyze you with stress. Take power over reality by vowing to positively reach your goals.

2. De-stress your retirement goals. Pensions were the mainstay of your parents' generation. Today, most Americans outside of protected government jobs will have no pensions or possess 401(k) plans overly dependent on a volatile stock market. Think smaller in terms of housing, recreation, travel and other traditional retirement goals.

3. Double your savings, right now. It is never too late to increase your savings, even if you can only set aside a few extra dollars a week. Simplify your life and put off major purchases. It's better to take small steps than to feel powerless. Every little bit will help.

4. Make retirement your priority. We all become Senior citizens, and the social security system doesn't keep pace with increases in the cost of living. Period. Put retirement at the top of your list of priorities right now, especially if you are expecting a tax refund this year.

5. Consult experts. Even if you can only afford one session with an outside financial consultant, it can be money well spent to advise you on how you can proceed. There are plenty of free seminars offered by experts both on the world wide web and at your local J. c. Today's high foreclosure rates have led to the opening of free consumer credit and financial offices in most cities to help people save their homes from foreclosure. Even if you aren't facing foreclosure or don't own a home, take advantage of the opportunity to sit in on any free financial and credit counseling sessions available.

6. Empower yourself. You can find retirement planning classes at the junior college/ continued education level with a focus on finances. Many of these classes are free or low-cost, especially if you are older. Knowledge is a powerful weapon against the stress of inaction and ignorance.

7. Be flexible. An example of what happens when people don't diversify is Enron. Many people whose 401 (k) or personal investments were in Enron stock lost everything. Diversifying your investments in savings bonds, savings accounts, stocks, real estate or other sources also minimizes your risk. Again, consult outside expertise and take notes.

8. Simplify your life. Eliminating extravagances now will prepare you to live without extravagances during your retirement. Tighten up, and you'll be more prepared for unexpected expenses.

9. Be proactive. The greatest majority of Americans do not have the resources to retire at 55 or 65 or even at older ages, as did past generations. Update your skills to be ready to re-enter the workforce. The bonus is that an active mind is a powerful anti-aging deterrent, in addition to being practical. Most cities have one-stop centers established by the U.S. Workforce Investment Act that can help you find free or low-cost resources to update your skills. These centers are not just for the unemployed, and there are no age limits, so sign up for skills classes and seminars.

Our very best efforts to make plans for retiring, trying our best to make them recession resistantArticle Search, fosters stress. We hope our tips have helped to reduce yours.

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Ruth Klein is an award-winning business owner, best-selling author and marketing and time management consultant whose clients range from solo entrepreneurs to the Fortune 500. Sign up to receive Ruth's 7 Part Mini-Course on Branding and Productivity.

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