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You’ve been planning for retirement for most of your adulthood, and now that you’re in your 60s, it’s finally getting close. Are you getting ready? Will your transition be as smooth as possible? Will you start this new chapter in your life with a sense of optimism? You are not alone if you are unsure about your retirement planning. A 2019 economic well-being study published by the Federal Reserve indicated that just 45 percent of nonretired adults over the age of 60 believe that their retirement planning is on track. What’s more, 60 percent of non-retirees who hold a 401(k), IRA or other retirement account say they have not calculated how much money they will need to have saved in order to retire comfortably.
If you haven’t already done so, taking an inventory is recommended by financial advisers in order to think things through. You could consider making two checklists; one for your lifestyle, and another for financial matters, to assess your situation and determine the steps you need to take as the countdown continues.
When it comes to your finances, you’ll have a long list of items to tackle. Breaking it down and working on certain tasks one at a time will make it more manageable. Depending on your situation, you’ll want to adjust your checklist as you go along.
Be sure to know your financial status before making any decisions — work with a financial planner to see if your portfolio will be able to sustain you not only through your life expectancy but until age 100. This includes evaluating the risks and determining if you need to make any changes to how your portfolio is currently set up.
One of the most common misconceptions is that the percentage of your portfolio devoted to bonds should be equal to your age. For example, if you are 60 years old, you should have 60 percent of your portfolio in bonds. Shooting yourself in the foot by investing in low-interest-rate environments is a surefire way to financial ruin. You should always have enough safe, easily accessible money to cover three to five years of spending.
A realistic assessment of your current spending is essential to ensure that all expenses are covered. Then, you can project how much income will be available at retirement from a pension, Social Security, and investments.
The cost of health insurance can be expensive, especially if you plan to retire before you become eligible for Medicare at age 65. You can offset some of the cost by finding a part-time job. For 2021 and 2022, you will never have to pay more than 8.5 percent of your income for health insurance.
Insurance is not the only thing you need to worry about. You should also have some money saved up in case of an emergency. Some people call it a rainy day fund. I like to think of it as a Summer Heatwave fund. Last summer our Central A/C went out in 120 Degree weather, having that fund in place meant we were not stressing to pay for the repair. As summer in a Southern California Dessert would have it, our Car had an issue that needed about $1,500 in repairs. Having that extra buffer helped to not stress about where the money was coming from, but instead think about how we could replenish it.
Reduce your debt.
To improve your cash flow, in the long run, pay off as much of your high-interest debt as possible. Otherwise, it could take away from your resources. All other things being equal, paying off a credit card with a 15 percent interest rate is the same as earning 15 percent on an investment.
Test the waters of retirement by living on your fixed income for a year before you actually retire. This will help you determine if your cash flow is realistic and if you need to make any adjustments. Be sure to review and confirm your actual cost of living so that you can accurately plan for your retirement lifestyle. Now is the time to start planning for retirement so you can have the time to carefully think things through, discuss your options with your spouse, and try things out. Retirement is a big change in life, and you need to be patient with yourself and your spouse. Most retired couples don’t look like the people in ads and commercials.
Test your vision.
I suggest that people practice being retired. For example, one couple who dreamed of buying an RV to travel the U.S. rented one and learned how much travel — and togetherness made sense. You may find that you need to adjust, it’s a practice run.
Envision What Your Days Will Look Like.
How do you envision your days in retirement? What will you do to fill your time? Many people retire without a plan and end up feeling lost and depressed. It’s important to talk with your spouse or family to make sure you’re all on the same page. Maybe volunteer or join a club to find new friends. Keep in mind that it takes time and effort to find a new “tribe.”
Where Will You Live.
When it comes to planning for retirement, it’s important to think about how you want to spend your time, where you want to live, and whether you want to stay in your current home or downsize. For many retirees, these decisions can be difficult to make without careful consideration. But by taking the time to plan ahead, you can ensure that your retirement is everything you want it to be.
Explore New Places.
Visit the areas you’re considering moving to in both their peak and off-seasons. Get an idea of the different neighborhoods in an area and which are your favorites. Subscribe to a local paper to see what activities are going on throughout the year. Moving may be right for you if you enjoy exploring new areas and getting a feel for different types of neighborhoods.
Prepare For The Move.
Before you relocate or hit the road permanently, check with your doctor to see if they can refer you to a new physician in the area. Gather change-of-address cards to send to your CPA, lawyer, banks, doctors, financial adviser, the Social Security office, your insurance company, and the DMV. After you retire, update your wills and legal documents accordingly.
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We have a simple 3 step process that helps walk you through the process, Step 1 is to Request a free no-pressure quote, you'll receive current rates of growth and get more information on the companies we believe can help you. Step 2 is to consult with a professional on your specific case, this can be done in person, by phone and/or Zoom video chat, usually takes 20-30 minutes to establish your needs and strategize your future goals. Step 3 is to receive the policy, this is where your agent will sit with you and explain your policy, expected growth and notify your beneficiaries of what to do if needed. This process is simple
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