The idea of retirement – after decades of a stable, predictable routine for your work and personal life – can be both exciting and a bit daunting. After all, you’ll be entering a new phase of life that can be very rewarding.
What sort of life do you want in retirement? Have you visualized what it will look like? A good financial plan can help you define and prioritize what’s important to you.
Part of the planning process – either on your own or with the guidance of an advisor like a Certified Financial PlannerTM professional – will involve reviewing all of the issues that can impact your ideal retirement.
Here are just a few examples:
If you’re like most Americans, you’ll be entitled to a Social Security benefit. When should you claim yours – is there an “optimal” age? Does that answer change if you’re married?
And what if you’re also entitled to an employer-provided pension, like PERS in Oregon, or CalSTRS in California? When should you claim that benefit? Does your pension affect how much Social Security you’ll receive?
If you plan to retire before you’re eligible for Medicare, what will you do for health insurance? And once you’re on Medicare, should you purchase a Medigap policy as a supplement? Will your income in retirement be high enough to trigger IRMAA surcharges?
Are you familiar with Required Minimum Distributions, or RMDs, from retirement accounts? Have you considered strategies like Roth conversions prior to your RMD age, in order to lower those required distributions?
What about the potential need for care later in life, at home or in a facility? Does it make sense to purchase long-term care insurance? Or do you have the resources to consider self-insuring against this risk?
Does your estate plan need to be updated, once you’re retired?
If this short – and incomplete – list of issues to consider before you retire seems more complex than you imagined, it’s because retirement is such a significant change in your lifestyle.
That’s why we’ve created a simple, easy-to-understand guide that will walk you step-by-step through the most important issues to consider before you retire.
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