If you're heading for retirement or even if it's a ways off, you might already be writing that bucket list of things to do and places to see as soon as you don't have to show up to work every day. But before that happy day arrives, there's a different list of things you should cross off to ensure that your golden years are truly carefree.
- Daydream: To get somewhere, it's important to know where you're going. Spend some time envisioning what the ideal retirement would look like in order to find out what's most important to you. Do you want to have money and freedom to travel? How and with whom do you hope to spend your time? Asking questions like these will help you to make plans that support your unique vision and keep you on the right track.
- Aim to be debt-free: Whatever it takes, make it a goal to begin your retirement without student loans, mortgages, medical bills or credit card debt hanging over your head. See a financial planner or credit counselor if you need help getting started.
- Learn to budget: If you're not that great at managing your money now, imagine what could happen when you're on a limited income. Take steps towards financial literacy that will make your life easier right now and free you from fear and worry in retirement.
- Simplify your life: If you plan to travel or don't want to spend so much time keeping up a big house, downsizing your possessions or even moving to a smaller residence might be a good idea. Thoughtfully consider what you really need, and start getting rid of the rest.
- Save, save, save: Saving money is one of the most critical things you can do to plan for retirement. Contribute the maximum amount to any employer-sponsored retirement accounts and find ways to save on the little things along the way.
- Get healthy: Enjoy the present and plan for the best possible future by making a commitment to your physical and emotional health. Consult your doctor and invest in preventative health measures before it's too late.
- Plan your estate: Having your affairs in order includes much more than deciding who's going to get the good silver or the painting over the mantel. A thorough estate plan can put into place legal and other protections for minors or beneficiaries who may not be able to handle a large amount of money; minimize tax penalties for transferring property and assets, and can include plans for charitable giving and funeral arrangements, among other things.
- Put your health care wishes in writing: A living will is a legal document that details what type of medical care should be administered or withheld if you become unable to make your own decisions. A second legal document, called a medical power of attorney, allows you to appoint somebody to carry out your living will and make healthcare decisions for you, rather than leaving it to your doctor. Don't leave these critical decisions to chance; instead, get them in writing well before they might be needed.
- Consider life and health insurance needs: Life insurance isn't always needed in retirement. But If you have a minor or disabled child, are still paying off some major debt, or would like to protect your spouse in the event of your passing, you should probably consider it. Health insurance, on the other hand, is a necessity and it can sometimes be difficult to find the right plan at an affordable price, so start your research early.
- Write that bucket list: Planning for retirement doesn't have to be all serious, hard work. Take the time to start that bucket list now and make checking off the rest of your countdown to retirement tasks worthwhile.
For questions about insurance, call or contact Executive Insurance & Financial Services today.