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2020 Pre-Retirement Best Practices Checklist

| January 23, 2020

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

  1. Write down actual living expenses before retirement.
  2. Write down your planned changes (reductions) in living expenses during retirement.
  3. Save enough before retiring to at least pay for your retirement needs
  4. Maximize pre-retirement tax-deferred contributions to 401(k) IRA, TSP etc.
  5. Work until your resources (income + assets) cover at least your needs.
  6. Spend on wants in retirement leaving a margin of safety
  7. Social Security for surviving spouse reduces by the smaller of the two payments. Plan for it.
  8. Pensions sometimes pay surviving spouse less or zero. Plan for it.
  9. Life insurance might fill the gap if downsizing and expense reductions aren't enough. Do the arithmetic.
  10. Plan for health care expenses during retirement.
  11. Medicare does not cover everything
  12. Plan for the expense of incapacity care - in home or in a facility - typically is not much covered other than Medicaid - "medical welfare."  
  13. Consider making home modifications to safely "age in place" if realistic and preferred to "downsizing" or moving.
  14. Update or create needed documents especially Medical Proxy and Durable (financial) Powers of Attorney.
  15. Also Wills Trusts if needed and Beneficiary Designation forms.

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