Are you ready to retire? Or, are you starting to think about retiring? Either way, have you made a list of the things that you should consider before actually retiring? Yes, we all daydream about finally having all the time we want to do whatever we want, whenever we want. But, the reality is that there are some serious things that will come before we can enjoy those carefree days. Let’s look at some of those things that will help you know if you are prepared for your retirement.
Things to Consider Before Retiring
1. Finances: When you leave the working world you will need to know if you have enough money coming in monthly to support your financial obligations. You can calculate how much you will need for regular monthly expenses such as rent or mortgage, utilities, food, gas, and any medical needs. Then compare these recurring expenses with your estimated monthly income from all sources to know how much is left for leisure spending, special occasions, road trips, or saving for unexpected expenses. Your monthly retirement income can come from a combination of employer retirement income, 401(k) or IRA accounts, regular savings accounts, investments, and social security payments. Consider paying off outstanding debts such as loans, car payments, and credit cards. Your retirement income will go further without a lot of outstanding debt.
2. Health: Your health and the health of anyone else living in your household will play a large part in your need for a dependable, affordable health insurance plan. If you are 65 years or older, you need to know that Medicare Parts A and B will only pay a certain amount of your medical bills and you will need to pay the difference. You might consider enrolling in a Medicare Advantage program that will help you cover known medical expenses if you currently have health problems that will continue to need medical maintenance. Even if you are currently in good health with an expectation of living for many more years, it is always a good preventive measure to know that you have reliable health insurance that will support your needs as you get older and more susceptible to medical issues.
3. Social Life: Retiring from an active work schedule means having less social interaction with others. You want to stay active in retirement. Think about joining or remaining active in any club or social meetings that you enjoy now. This can be a weekly or monthly sports activity, a hobby society, or a regular evening out with family or friends. Keeping up with these activities or joining a new group will give you events to look forward to that will enrich your social life. Give some thought to planning a weekly outing or a dinner with close family members or with senior friends that you enjoy being with.
4. Living Location: If you are considering a relocation move when you retire, now is the time to research the real estate markets in your desired new location. It will help to compare the cost of renting or buying in the new location. You can check on the local and state tax liabilities, the availability of outdoor activities, the availability of senior services, the amount and quality of medical services, and the cost of daily expenses such as utilities and groceries. It will help with your retirement plans to know if you’ll need more or fewer funds to live in your new location. If your current employment had you moving away from your home state and close family members, you might consider moving back to be within a comfortable, friendly, familiar territory.
5. Part-time Work: Not everyone is ready to completely retire from work. If you are one of these people, you might consider working part-time. There are many companies that employ seniors for a few hours a day or a few days a week. Having a part-time job often gives someone a reason to get up and out of the house on a regular basis.
6. Volunteer Work: If you have ever wanted to help others, consider volunteering your time or talents to local organizations that will welcome you. Give some thought to giving a few hours of your time each week to a senior center, a local charity, a junior sports club, or a homeless shelter. Volunteering is one way to support others in need of help.
Deciding to retire is a major life change that needs plenty of consideration. Take the time to consider all of your financial, physical, and mental needs and those same needs of your immediate household before settling on a final retirement date. You want to feel comfortable with your plans and know that they will work for you. Plan well and know that retirement can be the best years of your life.