Wise guys' rules to retire by

Wise guys’ rules to retire by

Jack Marlone is a guy you’d be better off not knowing.

He’s Uncle Jackie to his friends, but he’s light on those these days. With a few strategic snuffs under his belt and no record to speak of, he’s still the undisputed boss of his city’s tightest-knit crime syndicate. In his world, he’d consid­er his career a success. But Marlone wants to retire in a year, and he hasn’t told anyone. Why give one of his opportunistic hench­men a reason to try to muscle him out?
Clearly, the big boss needs a retirement strategy desperately. Nice guy that I am, I’ve put together a couple of rules to retire by, and since I’m in a sharing mood …

The end
The first rule is to know your expiration date. Like milk, your job and your life, things do expire, often going sour before you’ve finished them. Marlone knows his days will wind down sooner than most, but don’t feel sorry for him. He chose to live that life.
But you might still have a shot at a long retirement, so don’t blow it.
The average 65-year­old retiree will likely live another 20 years, and roughly half of retirees will live longer than their life expectancy.
I play it safe with my clients, often counting on death around age 95 or 100, intending to leave remain­ing funds to their heirs.
Maybe this works for you, or maybe not.

Pay up
Rule No. 2 requires knowing what you owe and to whom.
If you’re looking for a moral here, it’s to pay down as much of your variable­rate debt as possible before clocking out for good.
Credit cards with rolling balances can cripple your retirement just as quickly as Uncle Jackie and his gang.
Not all debt is bad, though. Maintaining a mortgage in retirement often provides tax benefits which could further lower the real interest rate on the loan. Given today’s histori­cally low rates, you might be better off stretching your loan out for 30 years, and enjoying the effect of inflation on your fixed loan payments.
Of course, only you, your accountant and financial planner can solve this one for you.

Escape route
You couldn’t pull off a heist without a proper get­away car and a practiced route to hit the highway out of town, and you wouldn’t leave your life’s work without a plan drawn up to help you navigate the financial challenges of retirement. It’s the rest of your life, so start planning for it.
We’re not done here yet, so come back next month for another foray Into the Noir.

Anthony M. Conte, MSFS, CFP is a managing partner with Conte Wealth Advisors LLC in Camp Hill, 717-975-8800, tony.conte@contewealthadvisors.com. Registered Representative Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisor Representative Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.
Cambridge and Conte Wealth Advi­sors LLC are not affiliated.

The opinions expressed in this column are solely the writer’s and do not reflect the opinions of The Patriot-News. Before acting on financial advice, readers should consider whether it is suitable for their circumstances and consider seeking advice from a financial or investment adviser.