The cornerstone of retirement planning is eliminating debt and mortgage payments. Cash flow is king in your golden years and debt can cannibalize your cash positions like no other expense. Debt reduction needs to begin no later than five years out from your retirement date. You’ll still have living expenses that will more than likely increase each year, so debt and mortgage payments need to be eliminated before you retire. Social Security income is the footing of your retirement, a base on which to build a firm foundation. It’s guaranteed lifetime income you can’t outlive and the goal is to maximize your benefits by delaying Social Security income until age 70. Remember, the decision to delay Social Security is a “we” decision not a “he” decision. Most women will outlive their spouses, so waiting until age 70 to receive your benefits will benefit her in the long run. But Social Security income will not be enough. You need to create a secure, inflation adjusted lifetime income floor as your financial foundation to fund the expense gap that Social Security doesn’t fill. There are three basic options in guaranteed lifetime income: single premium immediate annuities, deferred income annuities and indexed annuities   Read more…