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Looking for advice. I am a single woman, 61, with a mortgage of 175000. I want to retire around 63. I understand that I would not have Medicare until 65. I find the whole retirement thing to be hard to understand. I have a pension from work, social security and a small 401c. Is there an easy formula to use?

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Congrats at setting a retirement date, @Suzzzzzz59 ! I don't know about there being an easy formula to use, but one of the things I did prior to retiring at 61, was to check my projected Social Security benefit. I wanted to know how much I was leaving on the table by retiring early. My game plan was to pull money from savings to tide me over until age 62. I had some assistance from a professional advisor, but basically, I sat down, thought about what I wanted to accomplish, looked at all my income streams, and developed a plan that works for me. So far, so good, but there are sure to be hiccups along the way. All we can do is plan for them as best we can.

Congratulations @Suzzzzzz59 for having some foresight for retirement which could be right around the corner. I know of no formula because I'm not sure I'd trust a formula for something so crucial to the rest of your life. Do you have thoughts of speaking with a financial advisor? It can be so complicated and some of the timing is unpredictable since most of us have no idea of our lifespan. Even with guaranteed income, some of it may be taxable. If you become mortgage-free, there are still property taxes and homeowner's insurance, maintenance and repairs to consider with ownership. A good financial planner can help you form a timeline and path to  a stress-free retirement.

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