How To Know You Are Really, Really Ready

What You Should Know About Retirement

You worked close to 40 years to accumulate enough money to afford retirement.   Take a few minutes to make sure you are approaching your retirement completely ready and able.

  1. Have you determined your retirement lifestyle?  Active? Relaxed? Part-time work required?
  2. Have you accumulated enough money to pay for your desired lifestyle?
  3. Have you created your retirement budget?  Will it accommodate your retirement lifestyle?
  4. Will your retirement income last as long as you do?
  5. Will you have access to your investment money when you need it?
  6. Are your investments safe?  Do you know how much risk you can tolerate?
  7. Is your money in an investment that will keep up with inflation?
  8. Do you have any investment objectives?  Growth? Risk free? Capital preservation?
  9. If your portfolio is large enough for you to live on the interest and dividend payments, do you feel confident that the principal will not fluctuate?
  10. Ask your questions about retirement now rather than when you retire already

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    What will your retirement investments cost you?  Are there any fees to close accounts, make withdrawals, surrender charges or sales fees?

  11. Unlike assets held in an Individual Retirement Account, assets in a 401k retirement plan are protected from creditors.   Check with your employer to determine how long you can leave your assets in that retirement plan.
  12. Do you like the investment options provided to you in your employer’s retirement plan?  If so, maybe you can leave the retirement plan in tact and take distributions from that account.   Ask your employer.
  13. Will your retirement investments provide any guarantees; such as,  guaranteed minimum retirement income regardless of market conditions.
  14. What will the tax consequences be when you take withdrawals from your retirement plans?
  15. Will you be required to take a minimum distribution from any of your retirement investments?   Traditional Individual Retirement Accounts usually require minimum distributions; whereas, Roth Individual Retirement Accounts do not.
  16. Do you have all of your insurance needs covered?   Health care, disability, life and long-term care insurance are the important insurances needed during your retirement.   Check the coverages provided; call your insurance agent for a review.
  17. Do you understand Medicare and how your employer health benefits will work within that system?
  18. Have you worked with the Social Security Administration to understand your benefits and benefit dates?
  19. Have you filed the necessary paperwork to start your Social Security benefits?
  20. Have you taken 3 deep breaths to clear your head and make it easier to tackle 1 through 19?

Congratulations on reaching retirement in one piece.   Now your time is yours, enjoy!!!