Important Steps To Complete Before Retirement
By: Andrew Maisch, CFF®, Certified Financial Fiduciary,
Maisch Financial Group
It’s almost that time, you worked your entire life to reach retirement. Now, what do you do to ensure that your retirement plan will meet your goals?
Here are a few steps to take before retirement:
Create a Budget- What are your expenses? Write down all of your monthly and yearly expenses. Look at your bank debit account, credit cards, and checking account statements and see where your income goes each month. Are there areas that you plan on cutting back spending in retirement? For example, maybe you eat lunch out at work everyday, and you may not have that expense when you retire. Or, your car expenses may lessen in retirement due to not commuting to work each day. Also, I advise clients to take into account unexpected costs in retirement, such as house and car maintenance as well as repairs. Gifts, and travel should be considered also. Making a budget looking at ALL of your projected costs is very important. Failure to plan this step can result in unnecessary financial stress in retirement!
Investigate your healthcare options- Healthcare is a big expense in retirement and the options are often confusing and/or complicated. For instance, you may be eligible for Medicare and you should review all of the options to decide what is best for you. Also, if you retire before Medicare eligibility, what are your choices? And lastly, if retiring from a job that provides healthcare in retirement, what are your options? I have a client that just retired from the state pension system and she had multiple options for healthcare for her and her spouse and each plan had different variables and costs that needed to be factored into her budget.
Social Security benefits- Do you know your choices in Social Security? Making a wrong choice about the best time to take Social Security can be costly. Research your options and make sure to integrate it with your retirement plan. Look for local Social Security workshops in your area. Attending a workshop with a qualified speaker will be worth your time due to the valuable information it will provide for planning your retirement.
Pension Options- Do you have pension options from current or previous employment? Contact your human resources department or schedule an appointment with your pension counselor to review your options. Some workplaces have pension workshops online or in person. This is important to merge with all the other aspects of your retirement plan to make sure to meet your needs.
Investment Portfolio- What does your investment portfolio look like? Does it have high risk investments that could stifle your retirement plan? What are the fees for your investment plan? And lastly, do you have safe, worry free investments that you can’t outlive? These are all important questions to make sure you are on the right track to retirement.
Retirement isn’t just not setting an alarm anymore to go to work. It’s a life changing decision, that, with proper planning will be at time to relax and enjoy all of your planning and hard work!