7 Things to do to Get Ready to Retire
Well, we just started empty nesting and now we have to think about retiring. We are still paying for college, but wait, do we have enough retirement savings to ever quit work or at least cut way back? You may have 20 years or more before you plan to retire, but it is time to get ready. Read on for 7 Things to do to Get Ready to Retire.
7 Things to do to Get Ready to Retire
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THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT RETIREMENT TO LOOK LIKE
Does retirement mean not working at all? Does it mean part-time work? Where do you want to live? What kind of lifestyle do you want? Do you want that lifestyle to be the same as you live now? Do you want it to be more luxurious than your current lifestyle or do you want to live more austerely in return for not working or saving as much?
WHAT AM I ACTUALLY GOING TO DO?
When thinking about what you want retirement to look like it is fun to think about all of the things you are not going to do anymore – like work all the time. But, what do you actually want to do? Sitting around doing nothing gets boring after a while. Adjusting to not working or working a lot less will leave you with time on your hands. Like when you became an empty nester it is time to decide what you are going to do with your extra time. It can be really jarring to suddenly wake up with no place to go and nothing to do.
TAKE A RETIREMENT FINANCIAL CHECKUP
Now that you know what you desire for retirement, it is time to take a retirement financial checkup. There are a number of online options for completing this checkup. If you have your retirement savings at a particular brokerage house, use their checkup because it will incorporate your savings there. I did ours through Fidelity and was impressed with the 32 page report I was able to print out. It included estimates for spending and saving, as well as suggestions for possible changes in investment strategy.
Retiring requires retirement savings, so it is time to see where you are in your savings and where you need to be.
CONSIDER YOUR DEBT
None of us like to talk about debt and I am not a No Debt Ever Guru. For my thoughts on paying down your mortgage read Why You Should Not Pay Down Your Mortgage and Other Lessons from my Dad
However… there are a few things that do not go together like a leisurely retirement and credit card debt or excess mortgage debt and car loans. You are going to have to pay off any consumer debt before you retire and the sooner the better.
Are you adequately insured? We are not getting any younger, sister, so we have to prepare for some stuff. Long term care insurance or do you have the retirement savings to pay for long term care? Do you or your spouse still need life insurance? Term or whole life?
Estate planning is more than a will. You no longer have to make sure your kids have guardians in case you pass away, but at what age do you want them to receive your estate? Even a fairly small estate can be a stumbling block to a young adult or make them prey for people who might want to take advantage of them. What does probate look like in your state? Do you have a power of attorney and HIPPA releases in case you are incapacitated? Are your kids old enough and mature enough to make medical and financial decisions on your behalf? An estate plan includes naming people to make these decisions for you.
Spending money at the lawyer’s office is like buying tires for your cars. You are not going to post your new documents on Instagram for all your friends to coo over, but it has to be done.
MAKE THE PLAN
If you are 10+ years out, it is ok for the plan to be a bit fluid. We are still thinking on ours. As you walk through the 7 Steps to do to Get Ready for Retirement the number one priority is to determine if you will have enough savings and sources of income to fund the retirement you are envisioning.