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Getting Ready to Retire? Here’s Your Financial Checklist

Most of us know that patiently saving and investing our money is the key to retirement preparation.

But having a nest egg doesn’t mean you’re completely ready: To ensure that you enter the next phase of your life with confidence, pre-retirement planning is critical.

By pausing when you’re a few years from retiring, you can help to ensure that you won’t outlive your money, that paying healthcare won’t be a burden, and that there likely won’t be any uncomfortable surprises.

At Steel Peak Wealth Management, we have helped many of our clients enter retirement with peace of mind. The main steps in this process include:

– Budgeting for retirement: What size “paycheck” will you need each month to support your desired standard of living in retirement? You’ll need to factor in standard living expenses as well as splurges such as travel, new cars and gifts. Wise households use budgets to discipline their spending—and such discipline is all the more important for retirees, who can’t count on new work income.

– Getting a jump on healthcare expenses. Healthcare is one of the largest expenses retirees face. It’s best to get a handle on the various costs that lie ahead, from premiums to company-pays to various out-of-pocket expenses. Bear in mind that Medicare only covers part of your retirement healthcare expenses; you’re responsible for the rest, so be prepared.

– Understanding Social Security. Social Security can account for a significant amount of income over the course of retirement, even for wealthy people. It’s important to understand how and when you elect to take your benefits can help to maximize them.

– Double-checking your savings. Creating a retirement budget is simple way to reality-check your savings. If your nest egg doesn’t stack up to your plans, you have two choices: Downsize your retirement plans or accumulate more savings. Remember, either option is preferable to outliving your money.

– Creating a retirement portfolio. Retirement portfolios must protect your capital while still ensuring that you’ll be able to tap income for the duration of your life. Because you don’t get a second chance to build your nest egg, the Steel Peak team “stress tests” portfolios to make sure they can withstand any future market troubles.

– Planning your estate. If you don’t already have an estate plan, you should create one while you are of sound mind and body. For those who already have estate plans, it’s important to confirm that trusts, beneficiaries powers of attorney and other items are all accurate and up to date.

– Finding a work replacement. Being free from workday responsibilities is a blast—at first. But you can only play so much golf. Pre-retirement is the time to do some soul searching about how to stay engaged in the world, and how to put your interests and abilities to work.

Pre-retirement planning is a science and an art. Your Steel Peak advisor can help you to answer key questions and lead you smoothly through the process. To be sure, planning your retirement requires a commitment of time and energy. But retiring with confidence is priceless.