- Make sure your financial plan caters to your needs before you set it into motion.
- Understand all the macro-factors that could influence your financial plan and be able to address them when needed.
- Don’t be afraid to think about yourself and see if the change in lifestyle is best for you.
Planning for retirement can be a conflicting, perhaps even a challenging, experience. You know it’s out there and once you reach a “certain age,” it should become the main objective. But what happens if you aren’t quite ready to retire or you don’t know if this is the right time?
If you’re worried that you feel a bit lost, you’re not alone. More people are working into their 70s and putting off retirement, for either personal or financial reasons.
Regardless of whether you’re 30 or 60, you need to take action to be prepared for retirement. This checklist will help you determine when the time is right for your needs.
- Think and create a financial plan: First, you need to decide when you plan to retire, and how much you will need to spend to maintain your lifestyle. Want to retire at 45? Want to spend your retirement adding to that wine collection or hitting the links a few times a week? You’ll need to plan for that. Work with your advisor to create a realistic budget that will keep your current lifestyle for your entire retirement.
- Don’t forget about Social Security: While Social Security probably isn’t a major part of your retirement income, it can help you hedge against longevity risk and give you some inflation protection. Learn how to maximize it to your benefit.
- Your health matters: One of the biggest expenses you might have in retirement are healthcare costs. As you approach 65, familiarize yourself with your Medicare options. Also keep in mind that Medicare won’t cover all your costs, so investing in long-term care insurance and investing in a Health Savings Account (HSA) are other important considerations.
- Get your financial house in order: Take stock of where your finances are right now, which includes your debt. Most retirees don’t want to spend hard-earned income paying off debts—that money is for fun. It’s also important to prioritize your financial security over your kids’, which might mean closing the “bank of mom and dad.”
- Develop a Liquidity strategy: You could be well on the road to a carefully planned retirement and then the unexpected comes crashing down. Creating a Liquidity strategy, including an emergency fund, can help you keep the lights on without depleting your investment portfolio during a market crisis.
- Think about the future: Your retirement is for the rest of your life. But your legacy doesn’t end there. Estate planning can help you lay out how you’d like your final wishes carried out and protect your family over the long term.
- Get ready to retire: Pat yourself on the back; you’ve done the heavy lifting. Now it’s all about making the transition. It might be a year from now or a decade, but you can feel confident that you have the right strategy set for your dream retirement.
Retirement doesn't have to just be an idea; you can develop a plan to help set the terms to enjoy the retirement you want exactly when you're ready.