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?

Roll over your existing accounts into a Navy Federal IRA.

Not sure where to start? Contact a financial advisor at 1-877-221-8108.


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Navy Federal Credit Union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration.

Nondeposit products offered through Navy Federal Brokerage Services, LLC (NFBS), member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance products sold through licensed agents appointed with various companies. Investment advisory services offered through Navy Federal Asset Management, LLC (NFAM). NFBS and NFAM operate under the marketing name of Navy Federal Investments & Insurance. Nondeposit investment products are not federally insured, are not obligations of the credit union, are not guaranteed by the credit union or any affiliated entity, and involve investment risks, including loss of principal, and may be offered by an employee who serves both functions of accepting members' deposits and the selling of nondeposit investment products. NFBS and NFAM products are not offered, recommended, sanctioned or encouraged by the Federal Government. Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction, 12851 Worldgate Drive, Herndon, VA 20170; phone 1-877-221-8108; fax 703-332-0424.

Investors should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses associated with municipal fund securities before investing. This and other information about municipal fund securities is available in the issuer's official statement which can be obtained directly from the issuer, or if distributed through a broker dealer, may be obtained from a financial adviser, and should be read carefully before investing.

An investor should consider, before investing, whether the investor's or designated beneficiary's home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state's qualified tuition program.

If a municipal fund security describes one or more of their investment options as having the characteristics of a money market fund, it is important to know that an investment in the security is not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC or any other government agency (unless such guarantee is specifically provided by or on behalf of such issuer) and, if the security is held out as maintaining a stable net asset value, that although the issuer seeks to preserve the value of the investment at $1.00 per share or such other applicable fixed share price, it is possible to lose money by investing in the security.