• Financial Checklist for Retirement

  • by Kristen Curzytek

The road to retirement has become quite a bumpy road. It takes a lot more planning and preparation to retire. Although it is more challenging to retire now more than ever, there are still plenty of things you can do to prepare for retirement. Below is a checklist to prepare for retirement and help you get ready for the golden years of life.

Create a budget

A budget is a great way to see where your money is going. Seeing your spending in black and white may open your eyes to changes you need to make in your spending habits. Evaluate your living situation ad determine what can be cut from your costs. Keep track of your finances over a period of time to determine what to trim from your budget.

Look for better rates and plans

What is your interest rate on your credit card? If you don’t know now is a good time to check them out. Find out what you are paying in interest and call your credit card company to see if it can be lowered. Chances are if you pay on time and rarely miss a payment, your credit card company can drop your interest rate. After you’re done with the credit card companies call your phone company and other utilities to see if you can get a better plan and a better deal. Companies are not going to let you know when you can save money, you have to investigate yourself.

Social Security Benefits

You need to apply for Social Security three months prior to the month of your 65th birthday or three months before you wish to start collecting benefits. The earliest you can apply is at 61 years and 9 months. If you are unsure about what you want to do with your Social Security benefits, you may want to speak with a Social Security representative in the year before you want on retiring or are eligible to collect Social Security benefits.

Living situation

If you are worried about living in your home the rest of your life, there are a few things you can do. One of your options is a Reverse Mortgage. A Reverse Mortgage can give you security of knowing you will stay in your home for as long as you live. A Reverse Mortgage can pay off your existing mortgage and give you tax-free* cash to use however you wish.

Another option is a retirement community.  A Retirement community is a place for seniors to live with everyday amenities.  Check out your local retirement communities for pricing and availability. Some senior communities have waitlists for new enrollment and can have a multiple year wait list.

Life insurance

Term life insurance is great for young families because term life insurance is exactly that, a term of your life. Many term life insurance policies are from five to ten years. For baby boomers, the best policy is the permanent life insurance policy. A permanent life insurance policy provides protection for your dependents by paying a death benefit to your designated beneficiaries upon your passing. Like any insurance policy, be sure to shop around to find the best deal for your situation.

Will or Trust

A will is a legal document that spells out exactly how you want your money, property and other assists distributed after your death.  A trust is a written agreement made by you describing who will manage your assets after your death or if you are unable to make decisions for yourself. Having a will or a trust helps to ensure your final wishes are carried through. Talk with a financial advisor to help determine if you need a will or trust for your situation.

Retiring is a big step in life that fewer people are getting to experience. With any major change in life, it is important to plan and organize for all possible outcomes. Although you can predict exactly how your retirement will go, the more prepared you are for what could possibly happen the easier retirement life will be for you.

*Please consult with your financial advisor.