The countdown is on, retirement is fast approaching, and finally, you will get to enjoy the time you have worked so hard for all these years. Even if you were on top of your retirement planning from an early age or were a bit of a late bloomer when it came to saving, there are still a handful of ducks you need to get in a row before the big day arrives.
This article will take you through some of the key preparation steps you should take to ensure you are financially and mentally ready for retirement.
Retirement Planning Checklist
Review Your Assets and Liabilities
First, you need to take stock of where you currently stand financially. Consider all your assets, including cash, properties, vehicles, stocks, bonds, investments, and other significant items. Next, look at your debt, mortgage, and auto, student, and personal loans, as well as credit cards.
Determine Your Retirement Lifestyle and Budget
As retirement nears, you should re-evaluate your proposed lifestyle and make sure it is still in line with your preferences and budget. Think about where you plan to retire and what your expenses and needs will be. Creating a retirement budget is vital to ensuring you don’t overspend your savings. Estimate your fixed and variable expenses and make a timeline of your expected income streams in post-tax dollars.
Clear Your Debt
Ideally, you want to retire with zero debt to your name. Your fixed income can deteriorate much faster if a portion of it is going to debt payments. An aggressive repayment strategy is required if you want to fully be out of the red before retirement. Start by clearing high-interest debts like credit cards and move down the line from there until you are debt-free, mortgage included.
Ready for Retirement Checklist
Build An Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is an excellent security blanket to have if something goes sideways or your retirement income is delayed. It is suggested to save up to six months’ worth of funds to cover you in the event of an emergency. Ensure you have enough on hand to cover all your expenses and don’t forget about the ones your employer is currently paying for, such as healthcare.
Plan Your Estate
Make sure you have a clear plan for how your assets and liabilities will be dispersed and addressed upon your death. Additionally, you will need to assign a power of attorney and healthcare proxy to make decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. There are various factors to consider regarding estate planning, including beneficiaries, life insurance, retirement accounts, shared assets, and taxes. You don’t want to become a burden to your family when you are gone. Make sure to get your estate in order.
Evaluate Your Health and Medicare Eligibility
Before leaving your current job, make sure to take full advantage of your employee healthcare plan. Get up to date on your annual checkup, prescriptions, dental, glasses, and hearing aids if needed. Most Americans are eligible for Medicare at 65, but there are many coverage options to choose from. Assess your current and expected medical needs to select the best plan.
Your Retirement Checklist
Everyone’s retirement checklist will look slightly different. Your preparation should cater to your unique needs, preferences, and budget. Regardless of what your list includes, thoughtful and proactive planning will ensure a seamless transition into retirement.
If you feel overwhelmed by retirement or lack confidence in your planning abilities, the advisors at Creative Financial Group can assist. Our expert team specializes in retirement planning and can help you get on track for a comfortable and stress-free retirement. Reach out to us today to find out how we can make the whole process easier.
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