There are few transitions more significant than retirement. When you retire, you’re saying goodbye to a major chunk of your life, and welcoming a brand new one. You’re ushering in new financial, emotional, and day-to-day realities, both for yourself and for your family. Hopefully, you are also making good on years of sound retirement planning and saving.
But what can soon-to-be-retirees do in the months, weeks, and days leading up to their own retirement? What are the important things to keep in mind as you seek to make this transition smooth?
First, make sure you sign up for Medicare in a timely fashion. You are eligible when you hit age 65, but it can take some time for all of the paperwork to be processed. As such, it is wise to submit your documentation at least three months before you turn 65.
Decide when you want to start receiving Social Security distributions. You might start receiving them as early as age 66, or wait until age 70. When’s the right time for you? That’s a question to address with your financial planner, but you’ll want to have this discussion in advance of your actual retirement.
Consider what you’re going to do with your 401(k), if you have one. When you leave your workplace, you will have the option of rolling that retirement account into an IRA. Is this prudent? It just depends on the fees and options that you have with your 401(k). This is another question to mention to your financial planner.
Revisit your long-term financial plan. Sit down with your financial planner and make sure you have a strategy in place, that your retirement savings will outlast your retirement, and that your portfolio can overcome inflation.
Make note of your required minimum distributions. Once you get to age 70 ½, you will have to take distributions of a certain amount, on an annual basis, from your traditional retirement accounts.
Finally, review your budget. Make sure you have a good sense of how much you can and should be spending, month-to-month, during your retirement years. This may require you to downsize or to make some minor changes to your lifestyle, or then again it might not.
A common thread in all of these tips, of course, is to sit down with your financial planner and review your standing. Move into retirement feeling confident in the plans you have made. Contact us today to learn how.