The Guide to Retirement Checklist
So you’ve got that feeling that you’re close to retirement. All your years of hard work to reach the ultimate reward. But you might not be fully confident to take that next major journey in life. It’s completely okay to have this feeling as it is normal for anyone who has been working a long time to get to this point in life. Use this checklist as a starter guide to rate your own retirement readiness.
Reassess your goals
Now that you’re close to your retirement, are you still picturing the same life style you always have? Does traveling across the world hold the same appeal as it did 15 years ago? Or are you now thinking about staying closer to home with family? This is the time to think about what your retirement will look like and if your goals have changed.
Prepare a balance sheet
Once you decide on your vision for retirement, it’s important to understand if you’re on track to meet your savings goals. Prepare a balance sheet showing your assets and liabilities to determine your net worth. Assets include personal possessions of value, such as cash, real estate and investments. Liabilities are your debts and legal obligations. If you’re falling short on your assets, do what you can to bulk these accounts up before your retirement.
Build your retirement budget
Prepare a monthly budget or spending plan to give yourself an idea of what your actual living expenses will be once you are not working. Make sure to include any of your retirement goals such as travel. This will give you an estimated idea of what you want to spend each month and can compare with your assets to see if this lifestyle is affordable. Underestimating expenses is one of the biggest retirement mistakes people make.
Deciding when to start taking Social Security can affect your retirement income for the rest of your life. If you begin taking benefits when you first become eligible at age 62, you will receive less per month then you would if you waited until age 70. However, this is a decision that is different for each person’s individual plan and there is no right answer. It’s best to talk through this with a financial planner before you decide to take Social Security because once you start taking it, you’re locked into that amount.
Know your post-retirement employer perks
If you’ve qualified for a pension or health benefits, make sure you understand the process and what rules apply. With a pension, you may have to choose between a lump sum and annuity payments. If you have a 401k plan you may have options to leave your money in the plan or roll it over to an IRA account.
Take a test drive
To be truly confident in your ability to retire, try living for a month or two on the income you expect in retirement. If it’s smooth sailing, great! If not, you may want to rethink your expenses, income or both.
ABOUT SGROI FINANCIAL
Sgroi Financial is a full service, independent financial planning firm proudly serving the Western New York area since 1971. We offer services that will help you achieve your financial goals including retirement planning, investment management, estate planning, college planning and insurance. We help individuals, families, retirees, working adults, young adults and business owners.
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Securities offered through Cadaret, Grant & Co., Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Sgroi Wealth Advisory Group LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Sgroi Wealth Advisory Group LLC, Sgroi Financial LLC, and Cadaret, Grant & Co., Inc. are separate entities.
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