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9 Questions to Ask Before Retiring Thumbnail

9 Questions to Ask Before Retiring

Are you getting ready to retire soon? Congratulations! You’ve worked hard, and deserve this. So—what’s your plan? You do have a plan, don’t you?

Too many people leave the workforce as casually as if they are going on an extended vacation. Scratch that: People plan their vacations.

The fact is, there’s a big difference between retiring and retiring well. Your retirement ought to be your “golden years,” a time to relax, enjoy the fruits of your labors, and savor life.

When the time comes to take this life-changing step, will you be ready? Here are some points to ponder now:

  1. How will you spend your time? This may be a good moment to make that “bucket list.”
  2. Do you really need all that stuff? Is taking care of your possessions how you want to spend your time and energy? Consider downsizing.
  3. Is your house ready? You may be spending a lot more time at home, and so want it to be comfortable for you.
  4. What’s your financial game plan? Have you talked with a financial planner? Do you understand your options for taking income from a pension and Social Security?
  5. What will your expenses be? Practice living now the way you will when you’re retired. I guarantee you’ll learn a lot.
  6. What health benefits will you have? Do you understand Medicare and your supplement insurance options?
  7. Do you need to make changes in your investment portfolio? Do you know how much risk you’re taking? If you lost 25 percent of your wealth, how would you fare? Understand the risks you are currently taking.
  8. Do you have an updated will and health-care directive? If you can’t make decisions for yourself, who do you want to help you?
  9. Are you thinking of moving? Consider renting for a year in the new locale before uprooting yourself. Sometimes, the grass only looks greener.

Retirement, for all its delights, is no pleasure cruise: It’s the rest of your life. If you hope to gain financial, emotional, and personal rewards during this phase, remember: We reap what we sow. Why not start planting the seeds of security now with some soul searching and professional advice? You’re worth the time and effort it takes to make your retirement years the best they can be.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendation for any individual.

Sarah Carlson, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®