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• • • their earned income, they are also losing out on bonuses, insurance coverage, and employer matches on retirement accounts. Retiring early, at a lower income level, could also potentially reduce Social Security benefi ts in the future. You could have limited access to Social Security, Medicare, and other federal benefi ts that have age restrictions. For example, IRAs and 401(k) plans, for the most part, are not available to use without penalty before age 59½. Social Security will allow early withdrawal at age 62. The future is unknown. Life happens and the longer the period of time, the less certain the future becomes. Just one really unfortunate event could have a devastating impact on even a well thought out plan. Clearly, there are a number of important questions that need to be considered before making a full commitment to the F.I.R.E plan, so you don’t get ‘burned.’ And even if the F.I.R.E. approach is not for you, the discussion that takes place around the topic is worthwhile, as it reminds us how important it is to learn to live on less than we earn, and to start saving as early in life as possible. Being disciplined enough to put money aside to work for you as soon as possible, will bet- ter position you to maintain your lifestyle throughout your retirement years. If you are ready to put together a personalized plan that is designed to lead you to a suc- cessful fi nancial future, talk to a qualifi ed Financial Advisor, sooner rather than later. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN february/march 2019 The author’s opinions, com- ments, information, etc. are those solely his own and are independent of, and do not represent, HTK, and should not be considered as specific investment or plan- ning advice. Please consider your options based on your individual circumstances. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. Gilroy Today and other listed entities are independent of and unaffiliated with, HTK and Integrated Financial Benefits Network. 61