Avoid Going Bust in Retirement

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BUST “Take a deep breath.” “It’s never too late.” “Get some professional help.” While those snippets are indeed culled from experts, they’re not therapists — though you might need one while facing the panicky prospect of a bone-dry retirement account.

If you’re a baby boomer on the cusp of retirement, you could find yourself staring down this problem soon. Perhaps you missed out on compound interest by not investing young. Maybe the Great Recession decimated your individual retirement account. Medical or financial emergencies might’ve forced you to tap your funds as a last resort.

No matter the cause, refreshing a depleted retirement account is tough — unless, of course, you’ve gone “bucket list” and want to drain it now. A newly released HSBC global retirement survey of 1,001 people age 25 and older shows that about 1 in 4 working Americans feel it’s better to spend all their cash during the course of a lifetime and let children create their own wealth.

Dipping into an IRA “isn’t necessarily a bad idea,” says Brian Schwartz, vice president and senior financial advisor at HSBC Bank USA in Farmingdale, New York. “A client once told me: ‘Now the clock is ticking on me.’ They want to start doing the things they’ve always dreamed of but had to put aside to take care of the costs associated with raising a family.”

But what if the clock’s also ticking on your dream of financial security? Here are 10 nuggets of wisdom from investment pros — meant to help cook a slender nest egg into something to feed you in retirement.

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