Don’t go with the crowd and wait. Instead, start thinking about retirement now. However, if you don’t have a lot of time, it is best to get started and look for ways to benefit your future, according to The New York Times in “Countdown to Retirement: A Five-Year Plan.”
With most people it comes on suddenly, and ads about annuities and Medicare Part B become more interesting. They even start reading the AARP mailings.
Do you have enough money saved? Is your portfolio invested right, or is it too aggressive? Is it not aggressive enough? What about that long-term care insurance plan you’ve been meaning to buy? Do you have a will?
This sudden awakening usually hits about five years before retirement. It is not a bad thing. In the next five years, you can take important steps that will enhance your retirement life significantly. However, you don’t have to make all these decisions right now. Spread the work out over a few years and do it at a comfortable pace. Just make sure that you do it.
Here’s some key points for planning your retirement:
- Take an honest inventory of your finances. How much have you saved; what are you expecting from Social Security; and do you have any other retirement income? Will it be enough?
- Where do you want to live during your retirement? If a move during retirement is in your future, start researching communities right now. There are an enormous number of choices. Do you want to live in a CCRC—continuing care retirement community—where you start out in a townhouse or apartment and then move to assisted living or hospice, as your needs change?
- Do you have a long-term care insurance policy? If you or your spouse were to become ill and require long-term care, do you have enough assets to pay for it while enjoying the rest of your own retirement? If not, you need an LTC policy. They are expensive, but so is the cost of nursing care.
- How do you want to spend your time? Many people enjoy the first two weeks of retirement. However, the reality of not working then hits and they don’t know what to do with themselves. Consider what brings you joy and fulfillment. You’ll have many options: volunteering, going back to school, working part time or maybe even traveling to visit family and friends. These are among all the possibilities, as you face the next portion of your life.
Reference: The New York Times (July 6, 2018) “Countdown to Retirement: A Five-Year Plan”