Your Retirement Planning Checklist

Jul 21, 2010

While retirement can be a happy occasion for some people, it can be a source of anxiety for others. Some are happy to be retired because it allows them more time to travel and do all of the things that they didn’t have time to do while working. Others worry about finances, or if they will feel needed or useful. And then for some, retirement includes a generous mixture of all these feelings.

If you want to go into retirement without the anxiety, it is best to plan your retirement, and the earlier you do this the better. No matter how old you are there are steps you can take to plan a retirement that you will feel secure and happy with. This is especially true when you consider funding your retirement.

This checklist can help you get ready for retirement, even if you are decades away from those golden years.

  • The first thing to look at is what you want to do when you retire. Will you want to live in a retirement community and take life slow, visit relatives, or travel the world?
  • Once you know what you want to do in your retirement years, you will then need to calculate how much money you will need for retirement. There are retirement calculators available online that can help you to determine the amount of money you need.
  • After calculating how much money you need to retire, you will then be able to tell where you are financially for retirement and how much longer you will have to save and work before you can retire.
  • Look for ways that you can save money for your retirement, such as an employer sponsored 401k, an IRA, as well as investing in stocks and bonds.
  • Keep track of what your benefits will be from Social Security. Each year you will get a letter from the Social Security Administration that will tell you how many credits you have toward retirement benefits, and what the amount of your benefits will be.
  • Find out when you will qualify for Medicare, and the best age to apply for your Social Security benefits. For some people it may make sense to delay collecting these benefits so they will have a larger monthly income.
  • Get information on withdrawing money from your retirement early if the need arises, as well as the best time to start taking withdrawals for retirement.
  • Don’t forget to put an estate plan into place that includes your Last Will and Testament, a Power of Attorney, and any trusts that may be necessary to protect your assets for yourself, as well as your beneficiaries.

The better prepared you are for retirement, the more you will be able to relax and enjoy this time in your life.

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