Some people simply do nothing about retirement
The 2010 Retirement Confidence Survey (conducted
by the Employee Benefit Research Institute) indicates that 27% of Americans
have less than $1,000 in savings for retirement, and that only 46% of workers
have tried to calculate how much money they will need to have saved for
retirement. While fear of retirement can motivate some people to take control
of their finances and retirement planning, it can create a
deer-in-the-headlights reaction in others; that is, some people simply do
nothing about retirement.
While it is certainly to one's benefit to plan
early for retirement, it's never too late to stop staring at the headlights and
start planning. Every bit of savings can help secure a more enjoyable
retirement. Here are 10 things you should know before you retire.
- Your Retirement Expenses
Determine how much money you will need, each year, to live comfortably
during your retirement years, the rule of thumb is living on 70-80% of
their current annual income.
- Where Your Income Will Come From
Strategize on how to meet these goals. Social Security,
Employer-sponsored retirement plans, IRAs, annuities and dividends all
provide retirement income.
- Personal Goals for Retirement
After long careers of working hard, with limited free time, many
people mistakenly assume that they will be satisfied doing nothing. This can
be a set-up for disaster, not to mention a stressor on spousal relationships.
Make plans for travel, learning, hobbies or volunteering.
- Plans for Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle
Retirement is more productive, fulfilling and enjoyable if a healthy
lifestyle is emphasized. Eating well, exercising and staying hydrated are
important to your mental and physical health.
- How Much Insurance will You Carry
Certain policies will probably remain unchanged, automobile and homeowner's
insurance policies. However, life and health insurance needs, due to
Medicare, may change.
- When to Apply for Social Security Benefits
Many people have no other source of income. Although, Social Security
typically does not provide enough income to live comfortably, the benefits
can be maximized with planning. Your monthly check depends on when you
start receiving benefits.
- What Medicare Covers
Medicare provides limited health insurance to people who are 65 or older.
Medicare benefits vary, and certain Parts require a monthly premium payment.
Information regarding Medicare, including when and how to apply, can be
found at www.medicare.gov/.
- What Happens with Your Estate
Estate and Asset Protection planning is complicated and subject to
changing laws. You can minimize estate taxes, avoid probate and protect
you assets and ensure that your wishes are carried out. Reviewing /
Creating wills, trusts, Financial Power of Attorney and Medical Power of
Attorneys and advanced directives are important steps in estate planning.
- How You will Care for Aging Parents
Many soon-to-be retirees must also plan for the care of aging parents.
In some cases, the parents will not have saved or planned for long-term
care and the adult children will need to cover the expenses. These
additional costs can be a part of retirement expenses and need to be factored
when determining monthly requirements.
- Know Your Budget
Creating a realistic budget – and sticking to it – can greatly
increase the enjoyment, and relieve the stress, of retirement.
The Bottom Line
Procrastination is the number one enemy of
retirement – not taking the time to plan ahead. Tackling these 10 important
considerations can help ease the transition into a successful and enjoyable