A decade ago, you might have regarded retirement planning through the lens of “how much”. You set a savings goal, and you’ve been working diligently toward it ever since. But now that you’re (hopefully) seeing some progress within your retirement account, your point of view might shift to “when should I retire”.
It’s normal to feel antsy, and you might feel tempted to jump into retirement any minute now! But before you do, you may want to start checking off these items from your planning list.
Pay down debts. Yes, some people have retired successfully while carrying debts. But revolving payments do put a dent in your budget, leaving less room for surprise expenses. That can create a difficult situation when you’re living on a fixed income, even if that income is relatively generous. If you pay off debts – at least a majority of them – before you retire, you will likely enjoy greater peace of mind later.
You’ve investigated your healthcare options. We all become eligible for Medicare at age 65. But even then, you will face a myriad of different enrollment options! Make sure you’ve investigated all of them, along with their impact on your budget. If you’re retiring before age 65, you will need to secure some other form of health insurance in the meantime (retiree benefits or purchasing your own plan).
You know how you want to spend your time. It sounds nice during your working years, but a retirement without anything to do becomes a boring retirement! Make sure you’ve set some goals and made some plans to fill your time.
Your spouse agrees. Retirement is a major life decision. If your spouse disagrees that now is the time, listen to their reasoning. Maybe they see something you don’t. But if they agree, this is as good sign that it’s time to proceed.
You won’t need your Social Security benefits yet. It may be best to wait until at least your full retirement age to claim Social Security, so you can access your full benefits. If you could retire right now, but delay your claim a few years, that’s a sign that you’ve conducted some solid planning.
You’ve calculated retirement account distributions, and your budget looks solid. For this step, we recommend that you meet with us. We can help you evaluate different theoretical scenarios, identify risks and possible solutions, and help you create a road map for this next stage of your future.