6 Things to Consider When Approaching Retirement

March 26th, 2024

Plan wisely to dispel the anxieties and boost the pleasure

A retired couple walking hand in hand on the beach. By Darren Baker. Article: 6 Things to Consider When Approaching Retirement

For many Americans, retirement is either a crowning ambition or a hard-won dream: to enter your “golden years,” give up your working life after a long and successful career, and enjoy relaxation and leisure as you enter old age. But the thought of retirement can bring anxiety as well as excitement, as you wonder if you have enough money, if you’ve planned sufficiently for the retirement process, and more. To help dispel some of those anxieties, here are a few crucial tips to make the most of your retirement plan.

Consult a Financial Planner

While it might be tempting to save some money by planning your retirement entirely on your own, that might not be the best idea. Consulting a financial planner can be a huge advantage when assessing your expected funds, possible expenses, tax issues, and more. A skilled financial planner can help you devise a custom-tailored financial plan to optimize your plan. Things such as structuring retirement income withdrawals and maximizing your social security benefits are likely to require the expertise of a trained professional.

Understand the Retirement Rules in Your State

Not every state is created equal when it comes to the rules and regulations for retirement. Every state has its own set of laws governing retirement benefits and entitlements. In Virginia, it’s important to understand the nuances of things like retirement age, accessing your social security benefits, and whether or not you’re eligible for Medicare. This, again, is where a financial planner can come in handy – they may be able to help you make informed decisions regarding the planning of your retirement timeline and making sure you have access to things like proper medical care.

Review Your Insurance Policies

Retirement is a time of change, from your lifestyle and goals to your finances, and your insurance is no different. From time to time, it’s important to review your insurance situation to keep up with your evolving needs and priorities. This applies to the whole range of insurance, whether it’s life, home, health, or car insurance. In every case, you want to make sure you’re sufficiently covered against risks and perils, as well as possible liability.

One situation you may find yourself in, particularly if you are of retirement age, is getting your house entirely paid off. Home insurance isn’t mandated by Virginia law unless required by a lender (i.e. you have a mortgage on the home), but having home insurance is still a prudent idea. If you’re looking to save money and keep expenses down after retirement, one easy way to do this is to opt for personalized home insurance rather than the force-placed insurance most often required by lenders. As a resident of Virginia, you already have an advantage in that home insurance premiums are much lower than the national average – only $792 per year, according to The Zebra’s Ross Martin. But there’s no reason why that can’t go even lower, especially if you go searching for cheap Virginia car insurance.

Build Up Emergency Savings

Having some money put away in case of emergencies is a good idea at any stage of life – but it’s particularly vital after retirement, when your income is much more rigid and limited. One of the few disadvantages of retirement is how much less flexible your finances become, which makes it all the more important to have a strong financial cushion in case of accident, illnes, or other unexpected challenges. By having savings sufficiently built up, you can sustain the lifestyle you’ve worked for without compromising your financial stability.

Plan for Long-Term Care

Retirement goes hand-in-hand with aging, and unfortunately, aging goes hand-in-hand with declining health. Sooner or later, chances are that you or your loved one will need long-term medical care, and it’s important to be ready for that. It’s in your best interest to look at all your possible options, including moving in with family, hiring a caregiver, or moving to a retirement community or assisted living facility. Some of these options are considerably more expensive than others, which is one more good reason to plan ahead and make sure you’re prepared, so that you can keep your dignity and autonomy for as long as you can.

Plan for Generational Wealth Transfer

Another part of planning your retirement is planning your estate. If you have children (and grandchildren), it’s important that you have a plan for the seamless transfer of property and assets to your descendants or other family. Without a proper will, your family members could get caught up in probate for months or even years. Hire a skilled estate lawyer to help you draw up a comprehensive will, designate an executor, and make your final wishes known, so that your family can avoid unnecessary hardship and suffering.

Retirement isn’t all relaxation and leisure — to make the most of it, you’ll have to do some planning and preparation. But the end result will be worth it.

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