Planning for retirement is not necessarily a fun activity. But it might yield more happiness down the road. If you are flying on a commercial airliner, you expect and hope the crew will go through a pre-flight checklist. Consider the checklist below for your retirement journey! NB: If arithmetic is challenging, a complimentary phone call is available. No obligation.
Pre-Retirement Best Practices Checklist
- Write down actual living expenses before retirement.
- Write down your planned changes (reductions) in living expenses during retirement.
- Save enough before retiring to at least pay for your retirement needs
- Maximize pre-retirement tax-deferred contributions to 401(k) IRA, TSP etc.
- Work until your resources (income + assets) cover at least your needs.
- Spend on wants in retirement leaving a margin of safety
- Social Security for surviving spouse reduces by the smaller of the two payments. Plan for it.
- Pensions sometimes pay surviving spouse less or zero. Plan for it.
- Life insurance might fill the gap if downsizing and expense reductions aren't enough. Do the arithmetic.
- Plan for health care expenses during retirement.
- Medicare does not cover everything
- Plan for the expense of incapacity care - in home or in a facility - typically is not much covered other than Medicaid - "medical welfare."
- Consider making home modifications to safely "age in place" if realistic and preferred to "downsizing" or moving.
- Update or create needed documents especially Medical Proxy and Durable (financial) Powers of Attorney.
- Also Wills Trusts if needed and Beneficiary Designation forms.