I am 60 years old with $95,000 in cash and no debt. I think I can retire, but at a financial seminar, I said, “I’m not.”

I turn 60 in September, have $95,000 in cash, work part-time ($30,000 a year) for insurance, and donate 10% and 8% employer match to a small 401(k) . My house and car are paid off, I have no other debts, and I am single. I live in South Carolina where the cost of living is manageable.

I’m 62 and want to start Social Security (around $1,100 a month). This job is very physical and not something I can do for more than a few more years. At age 64, I receive a $1,900 monthly pension. I don’t spend money on anything unless I really need it. For example, last year’s new roof.

I could inherit a $300,000 inheritance, but don’t take it as a certainty.

I think I’m okay financially, but I’ve attended several financial seminars that said otherwise. Are they honest or are they just looking for customers?

Curious George

look: “Is my financial planner crazy?” We’re 55 and 60, 5 years out of retirement and told to invest more aggressively

Dear Curious George

A financial seminar can be a great starting point for self-examination of your retirement journey.

A word of caution: Some financial seminars use extortion tactics and misinformation to pressure unsuspecting attendees into making inappropriate investments or to defraud salespeople to charge large commissions. It’s a pitch disguised as an information session.

As with those financial seminars, I have limited information about your financial situation, so I can’t say for sure if you’re ready to retire in a few years. You say you have $95,000 in cash and savings on your (k), but you don’t know how much is on that 401(k). However, if they say that retirement should be postponed, it’s worth considering why.

For example, when you retire, you get a pension and social security. This is great — many Americans no longer have pensions — but will they be a big driver of your retirement income? If it’s a first nest egg, maybe not. For example, if she retires at age 64 and receives that pension, she can live another 10, 20, or even 30 more years. That $100,000 won’t last very long.

If you have more savings in your 401(k), ask yourself the same question — Is the amount invested enough based on several factors such as cost of living, life expectancy, and expected and unexpected expenses? is it here retirement calculator This helps you crunch some numbers to get an idea. A note on this — financial calculators are like drawing boards. They’ll give you an idea of ​​what you might need, but don’t base your retirement on one.

A licensed financial planner is a much more reliable option. If you can afford to see him even once for a financial checkup, it might be worth it. Unlike financial seminars, they should read all your information and, if you are a qualified financial planner, work in your best interest.Here some questions You can ask an expert if the person is right for you.

Read the MarketWatch column “retirement hack” On Practical Advice for Your Own Retirement Savings Journey

People retire with that much money and some retire with less if they want, but if you’re in a situation where you can continue to generate income, is it worth giving it up?

You mentioned that if you apply for Social Security at age 62, you may continue to work part-time, but you are doing a physically demanding job. Is there a way to use your skills and experience to find another type of job instead? can be replaced with something less burdensome, such as undertaking Then you could earn the same amount, or more, and potentially live on it while continuing to increase your Social Security benefits (and your 401(k) assets).

If you claim Social Security at age 62, you will get a reduced amount, and that amount will remain reduced for the rest of your life. If she waits until full retirement age, she can receive 100% of her outstanding benefits. The longer you wait until age 70, the more benefits you can receive. I’m not advising you to wait until you’re 70, but if it allows you to continue earning and enjoying life, it might be worth considering deferring Social Security for as long as possible (although this decision is not recommended). , depends on many other factors… not only if you can afford to delay your benefits, but if you think you’ll have enough time to enjoy it once you’ve started claiming it. , is an important factor in deciding when to claim Social Security).

In addition, depending on the part-time job income after application, the Social Security Administration withhold part of your profit. You can eventually get that money back when you reach full retirement age, but it’s something to keep in mind.

See also “I don’t think I can wait until I’m 70”: I’m 66 and still working. Should I wait for Social Security or should I apply now?

Health care is very important. Also very expensive. Until you qualify for Medicare at age 65, you can save a lot of money by taking a job that offers these benefits.

One more note about spending. It’s great to be able to live comfortably without spending a lot of money, and to live in an area where the cost of living is low. Still, you emphasized the very real possibility of an emergency. A new roof probably costs a lot, and such situations can still arise after retirement. It could be home or car repairs, medical bills, or anything else. If you need to spend a lot of your savings, your plans can easily go awry and your retirement anxiety can grow.

It is also correct not to rely on inheritance. Anything can happen until you expect it, and while it’s a nice influx of cash to use in your old age, it’s definitely not something you can count on. Plan B to Incorporate That Money into Your Financial Plan Or make a plan C, but don’t make it a plan A.

Hope this helps. It makes perfect sense not to want to jump on what you see at a financial seminar. Because it’s true — sometimes these sessions are actually sales pitches — but a little more refresher before you start doesn’t hurt your retirement. And it’s great that you’ve obviously already started!

Reader: Any suggestions for this reader? Add them in the comments below.

Got questions about your own retirement savings?Email us HelpMeRetire@marketwatch.com

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