The Ultimate Retirement Checklist You’ll Need Before 2018 Starts

After long years of working hard, finally, the long-awaited retirement is on the horizon. But hey! Before you get all giddy and super excited, have you checked if you are ready for everything? Aside from the 12 things you need to do before you retire, having a retirement checklist is highly recommended, to double check that you have it all ready and in place. For this month’s roundup, here is some expert’s advice about what to include in your checklist:

retirement Budget checklist

√ Retirement budget

You have to know how much you will need to spend every month. Your retirement is a not a guessing game and estimating its value is a downright no-no! It is a good way to start creating your retirement budget by looking at what you currently spend as a non-retiree.

On her latest post, How and Why to Use a Zero-Sum Budget,  Holly Johnson shared a budgeting strategy called Zero-Sum Budget that can help you get your finances under control.

On The Importance of Budget Planning in Retirement, Shanna Tingom, stresses on the importance of having a retirement budget.She says “our retirement budgets aren’t things we typically talk about with friends or when we’re socializing because there is nothing fun or glamorous about it, but each one of us still needs to take the time to put a budget together. It’s one of the most important steps on the road to a successful retirement.”

As for Robert Powell, in the Pre-retirement checklist: 10 tasks to complete, he said “Determine whether you can afford to retire — whether you’ll have sufficient income and assets given your household’s retirement expenses and liabilities.

To do that, create a financial plan, and stress test it. What will your sources of income be in retirement; how much can you expect from each source and for how long?”

Don’t underestimate how much you’ll spend in retirement to maintain a comfortable lifestyle. As what Dana Anspach said at How to Estimate Your Retirement Expenses, “One of the biggest mistakes I see retirees make is underestimating how much they will need to spend in retirement to have a comfortable lifestyle. They end up overspending because they missed items in their initial list of retirement expenses. The most common items that are missed are annually occurring items like real estate taxes and insurance premiums, medical expenses such as dental, eye care, and hearing, and periodic expenses like home upkeep and auto repairs.”

Take the three big retirement categories seriously. New Retirement discusses in their post, 9 Tips for Predicting Your Retirement Expenses, it was discussed that “housing, transportation and medical are the big 3 retirement budget categories.  If you are anywhere near average, most of your money is spent on these categories.” Tackle these three categories separately from other retirement expenses.

One of the important thing that I found out while making this roundup is to test drive your retirement budget months before you retire. Just like what is said at The Four Financial Moves You Need to Make Before You Retire by Ryan Derousseau, “clients should see if the funds they’ve saved match the lifestyle they want. Without such a test, you could find yourself pinching pennies once you’re stuck relying on your savings. And that’s no way to relax.”

retirement plan checklist

√ Retirement plan

Define what retirement really means. This is the most important question you can ask yourself as your investment strategy evolves. Practice retirement first. Educate yourself on what retirement means to you said Derek Overstreet at 7 Tips to Get You Through a New Age of Retirement Planning.

Plan not just for yourself but also for your partner. In the same post of Robert Powell, Larry Frank Sr. highly suggest people to plan for two eras in retirement. “One, when both are living, and two, when either one is the survivor. If people stopped to think about this for a moment, they’d realize their retirement choice has a big effect on the second retirement era.”

retirement income checklist

√ The retirement income

Determine your sources of money in retirement. It is important to do so, so you will know where to get the money to sustain your needs.

As much as possible delay your Social Security claims, says Matthew Frankel at Boost Your Retirement Income With These 7 Tips. “Many people don’t realize that you get monthly Social Security increases for delaying retirement. In other words, if your full retirement age is 66 and you wait until 66 years and one month, your benefit will get a little higher. Specifically, delayed retirement credit adds 2/3% to your benefit per month.”

Decide if you will want to work in retirement. Kira Botkin shares the positive side of continuing work in retirement at 10 Reasons to Continue Working After Retirement.

retirement account checklist

√ Retirement accounts

Although 401(k) plans may seem complicated, they’re the best retirement savings option for most of us. As with any other savings vehicle, a little education can go a long way toward improving your returns. Find more at 7 Tips for Stress-Free Retirement Plan Investing by Marilyn Lewis.

Maximize all your retirement accounts with 4 Ways to Max Out Your Retirement Income, by Wendy Connick.

health plans retirement

√ Healthcare plans

As what Ryan Kh said in one of his latest posts, Healthcare is a major piece of the retirement planning puzzle, but it’s far from the only consideration you need to make as you look ahead to your golden years.

Richard W. Paul says in his post, The Challenge of Financing Health Care in Retirement, “Of course, medical costs will come up for even the healthiest of people and need to be planned for, including those dreaded long-term care costs. Very few people are planning for that—maybe one out of four—which means most people will cover those expenses themselves when the time comes. And that money will come dollar for dollar out their portfolio.”

Cope with huge healthcare expenses by utilizing various healthcare options. My post, Meeting the Challenges of Health Care Expenses, discusses how one can cope with the huge expenses and one of them is by turning large, unpredictable expenses into regular monthly premium payments by means of Medicare and Medicare Supplement plans.

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