Online resources to help answer questions on retirement planning

By Reid Kanaley The Philadelphia Inquirer

When it comes to retirement planning, unusual times may require unusual tactics. Do you need a “practice retirement?” Should you borrow to invest? Here are places to look for some answers.

The upside on real estate is that housing is cheaper than it’s been for a long time. Generally speaking, if you’ve got the cash, it’s a good time to buy.

A post at Money.cnn.com describes the advantages and disadvantages of springing for your retirement housing now, even if your retirement is years away. There are warnings about the ongoing costs of owning property, and the caveat not to sacrifice 401(k) contributions for such a real estate deal. Read the advice at is.gd/1jqB8y.

About that “practice retirement?” That’s what some money managers are calling a strategy of saving like crazy until you reach age 60, then taking a pause from saving to spend money on fun stuff. All the while, you keep working.

With planning — and no interruption in your gainful employment — it can be done, these managers insist. Learn more at the AARP website, is.gd/zHk6xB.

More traditional advice on retirement strategies for uncertain times includes admonitions to work, work, work and save as much as possible. Yet a post at Money.usnews.com notes statistics showing that older Americans tend to opt for “current income at the expense of much larger benefits that they would receive if they waited.”

That’s not good now that so many people are expected to live longer than ever. Learn more at is.gd/M8LyDS.

Another article at money.usnews.com lists some more unconventional retirement strategies. Academics cited in the article suggest young people borrow money to launch retirement investments, particularly by investing in indexed stock funds. Read more at is.gd/GA8qZ3.

The Retirement Strategies section at Bloomberg Businessweek posts links to new blog items and other publications that deal with personal retirement issues, working and health, for example.

The wider economy’s effect on financial planning, bank health and Social Security are among other topics. Check it out at is.gd/erLLDL.