Preparing to Retire Checklist
With retirement on the horizon, now is the time to maximize your nest egg's potential to comfortably carry you through life. Make the most of your investments and personal savings: develop a withdrawal strategy to protect and preserve your assets. Use this checklist to prepare yourself for the transition to retired life.
Manage Your Money
- Consider your income sources. Understanding your own income stream will help you budget better for retirement. No two retirements look the same. Some people choose to turn a hobby into a part-time job, while others rely on a government, military or other pension, or Social Security to support basic needs, using retirement accounts for additional wants.
- Develop a retirement budget. With your income sources in mind, forecast how your expenses will change. You won't be saving for retirement anymore, and other expenses, like your mortgage, may go down as well, while others, like travel, may go up.
- Boost your retirement contributions. If you find you're a bit behind on your savings or investments, there's still time to get on track. Take advantage of "catch-up" contributions, which enable pre-retirees to contribute beyond the usual limits for Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and employer-sponsored plans. Certificates or taxable brokerage accounts are both great ways to save beyond retirement.
Protect Your Investments
- Make a withdrawal strategy. Creating a strategic plan that addresses how and when you'll withdraw money is an important part of making your retirement funds last while minimizing your tax liability.
- Create a contingency plan. What will change in retirement if you get divorced, get married, have health issues or lose your spouse? Consider a variety of scenarios and how they might affect your retirement lifestyle.
- Plan your exit date. Set a date for ending employment that maximizes your benefits, such as your anniversary date or the end of the calendar year.
Plan for Your Future
- Establish your estate plan. Protect the assets you've worked to amass with a comprehensive and current will. Consider a living will and Power of Attorney as well, and review the beneficiaries on your insurance and investment accounts.
- Evaluate your insurance policies. Will your health or life insurance change in retirement? Review your options and supplemental policies, including vision and dental.
- Review your investments. Continue to review and rebalance your portfolio annually. Depending on how close to retirement you are, you may want to start shifting some of your portfolio to lower-risk investments.
Want to better manage your retirement savings?
Not sure where to start? Contact a financial advisor at 1-877-221-8108.