Each issue of The Steward will include a brief case study. In it, strategies will be highlighted that we utilize in solving problems and creating opportunities for our clients. We hope you’ll enjoy this case study and find some wisdom in it that may help you in your own planning.
Transition into Retirement
Like winter turns into spring and summer into fall, the transition from a decades-long career into the retirement phase is momentous, exciting, and sometimes terrifying. The old adage, “April showers bring May flowers” is ripe with meaning for the newly-minted retiree. Imagine the list of things that must be considered and managed to ensure a smooth transition. We’re here to help.
A couple that we work with recently found themselves working through the season change in their own retirement transition. Having worked with us for a couple of years, they felt confident that we had enough of a track record together to trust that things had gone according to plan, giving them the courage to move forward. Now, the final and perhaps the most important steps were ones that they had to take on their own. As a result, I thought it would be helpful to offer a checklist of items to consider before shutting the machine down at work and heading for the door for the last time.As you read through this, please remember that no transition is perfect, sunny weather can break into a snow storm at any time. The key is to expect it and plan accordingly. Please let us know if we can be helpful to you in any area.
- Reduce or eliminate debt.
- Create an emergency fund cash reserve.
- Apply for any financing, such as a home equity line of credit, before you retire – even if you don’t use it, you will have it readily available should you need it.
- Determine the best day to retire to maximize your employer benefits before you retire.
- Control your spending and identify additional expenditures you will have once you retire, such as travel, etc.
- Decide on the lifestyle you plan to have in retirement.
- Evaluate your pension plan payment options, lump sum, annuity options, etc.
- Calculate how long your money will last – a financial advisor can help you with this.
- Inform your insurance agent that you will no longer be working (your auto insurance premium could possibly be reduced).
- Document any email addresses and contact information, as well as events stored in your calendar and special websites in your bookmarks.
- Decide if you should rollover your 401(K) or 403(B) to an IRA.
- Review your Social Security statement to ensure your reported income is accurate.
- Determine when you should apply for Social Security Benefits.
- Understand what your health care coverage and cost will be after you retire.
- Determine when to apply for Medicare.
- Become aware of the Required Minimum Distribution, mandatory withdrawals from IRA accounts, once you turn 70-1/2 years of age.
- Determine if you will need an income stream beyond your pension, Social Security benefits, and savings.
- Update your will and estate planning – powers of attorney, beneficiaries on retirement accounts, etc.
- Consider your need for Long Term Care.
- Enjoy the benefits of your hard work!