Tuesday, February 14, 2012

5 Things to Do Before Retirement

The decision that it’s time to retire is a tough one to make and a huge life transition. You’re moving from having a career, somewhere to be, and something to do to having complete freedom over your days, and it can be a trying time for a lot of people who are unsure of what to do with themselves. Before you make the switch from employee to retiree you should make sure that you have these things in place:

1. Figure out all of your expenses

Before you jump headfirst into retirement you have to assess whether you’re going to be financially stable on a retirement income or not. You need to ascertain all of your current expenses, from things like food costs to regular bills, so that you can scale back where necessary and aren’t short on cash when the bills start rolling in and your current salary doesn’t. You’ll also need to try to account for any changes in your lifestyle that may occur over the next several years that you’ll be without a job.

2. Make sure any legal documents are in place and up to date

If you made your will several years prior then you will want to take another look to make sure that everything included in it is still accurate and up to date. You’ll also need to decide if you need to set up any trusts to protect your assets. It’s a good time to meet with your attorney and get your ducks in a row.

3. Determine when to enact Social Security

The soonest you can apply for social security is three months before your 62nd birthday and the latest you can apply is three months before your 65th birthday. It’s usually easiest to sit down with a financial advisor and have them help you figure out when the best time will be for you to start collecting Social Security.

4. Evaluate part-time job opportunities

Plunging into retirement after a long, rewarding career can be a bit of a culture shock. If you’re ready to retire but not necessarily ready to be completely out of the working world or are still somewhat concerned about expenses then taking on a part-time job can be the perfect balance between a full-time position and full-blown retirement. With a part-time job you will still have responsibilities and interactions with colleagues, just on a lesser scale.

5. Get rid of as much debt as possible

Retiring before your debt is paid off – at least the majority of it – isn’t a good plan. When people begin to calculate their expenses while preparing for retirement they often don’t add in debt payments, which can end up being a huge issue. If your debt is paid off then you don’t have to worry about this extra expense.

Retirement is not a decision to be made lightly and there should be quite a bit of thought put into it before execution. However when approached with a well-laid plan it can be smooth sailing and enjoyable!

This Guest post is by Christine Kane from internet service providers, she is a graduate of Communication and Journalism. She enjoys writing about a wide-variety of subjects for different blogs. She can be reached via email at: Christi.Kane00 @ gmail.com.

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