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Retirement Checklist: 8 Things You Must Do

Retiring from a career can seem like a daunting task. It is not advised to attempt preparation for this momentous event without the help of a professional. However, if that is not an option for you, here are eight steps to prepare for retirement.


1. Know what your income will be – Determine first how much income will be coming in. This means expected income from Social Security, Pensions, Annuities, etc. Do not include investment income of any kind in this first step.
2. Know What Asset you have – Compile a list of all the assets you can use to live off during retirement. This list will include 401k’s, IRA’s, individual stocks, bonds, and investment real estate. Once this number is determined, multiply it by 4%.This is what will be the income you can expect to live on each year from these assets. This plus the income from step 1will be your total income during retirement.
3. Develop a budget – Now that you know your income, develop a budget that allows you to live comfortably within that income level. Remember, much of this income will increase each year for inflation, but most likely so will your expenses.
4. Reallocate your portfolio (if needed) – You will be heading into the retirement phase of investing and that is very different from the accumulation phase you have been in up until now. Although it is not advisable to move all of your assets to conservative cash and bonds, make sure a balanced portfolio is in place to provide you with both protection from market declines while continuing to keep up with the pace of inflation. To read more about the balanced retiree portfolio, click here.
5. Understand Medicare – Perhaps your largest expense in retirement will be your health care. The good news is the government covers a large portion of the costs through the Medicare program. There are numerous options available to you. Learn what Medicare can provide you so you can make an informed decision.  Learn more about Medicare by clicking here.
6. Apply for Supplemental Health Insurance – Medicare does not pay for everything. A supplemental health insurance program plan has become a must for retirees. It will fill in the gaps where Medicare is deficient. Read more about Supplemental Plans by clicking here.
7. Look into Long-Term Care Insurance – Although it can be expensive, Long-Term Care insurance is an important part of a good retirement plan. It is important to explore the option to protect yourself and your spouse from a debilitating illness destroying all that you have built financially. To learn more about Long-Term Care insurance, click here.

8. Decide when to apply for Social Security – Although many people follow the traditional rules of thumb when collecting Social Security, the program can be very intricate and does require some exploration to determine when the best time to collect for your specific needs. It may help to sit down with a Social Security planner to help you make that determination. To read more about when to collect Social Security, 

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