Even in the best case scenarios, change isn’t easy. Retiring is an exciting, but complex process, and if you’re retiring in 2018, it’s important to prepare for what comes next. We’ve put together a game plan to help you stay on track.

Make tangible plans for how you’ll spend your time.

Don’t wait until your last day of work to consider how you’ll spend your time when mandatory office hours are a thing of the past. Think actively about the projects, volunteer opportunities, travel, part-time and even seasonal jobs you’d like to pursue when you have more time on your hands. Then take the next step to make sure those things happen—whether it’s signing up, purchasing tickets, or booking a hotel room. It’s easy to lose interest and momentum without concrete plans, so get dates for future activities on the yearly calendar now.

Figure out the finances.

As with any financial plan, the key to a post-paycheck budget is knowing the amount of steady or guaranteed monthly income you’ll have to pay the bills. This includes social security benefits and, if applicable, a pension. The rest of your financial decisions should stem from this amount, so you can use your retirement investments wisely and ensure you’re living within your means. Don’t have a personal accountant? The government offers a retirement estimator that can help determine what the monthly figure might be. Ideal retirement would mean using steady income to pay for necessities, and pulling out saved funds for travel, special events, and emergencies.

Make changes gradually, but start now.

With a financial picture in mind and goals for plans after retirement, it’s time to start taking steps toward your new reality. Maybe you want to start putting more into a retirement account—catch-up contribution limits to 401(k)’s increase after age 50—or maybe you’re hoping to pay off debt; either way, now is the time to start putting money-saving habits into place. Take advantage of workplace insurance while you have it, and schedule doctor’s appointments before your last day on the job. If you’re retiring before age 65, you won’t have access to Medicare, so consider available insurance options and make sure you know the window for availability.

If retirement is in your near future and you’re hoping to refinance a current mortgage or take out a reverse mortgage, give us a call—we can help.

 

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