Retirement Readiness Checklist
Go through our Retirement Readiness Checklist to determine your readiness. This will help you indicate how you are doing in your preparation for retirement. It will identify action items that have been neglected or overlooked. Rate your answers on a scale of 1 to 4 based on your level of preparation. One (1) having not considered and four (4) being fully prepared.
- I thought out essential factors for me to have a satisfying, happy retirement
- I talk openly about my goals, dreams and interests for retirement
- I have discussed with my spouse/partner whether or not we can retire at the same time, or work part-time in retirement
- I know where I will live during retirement
- I have a plan for how to spend my weekdays when I'm no longer working
- I have considered the emotional impact of retirement
- I have no or very little credit card debt
- I have looked into new hobbies and activities to pursue while retired
- I have considered the relationship I have with my co-workers and how I may miss that interaction
- I am an advocate for myself in the workplace by seeking visible job assignment and networking
- I have maximized my 401(k) contributions
- I have updated my beneficiary information
- I understand where my health insurance will come from once retired
- I have become a knowledgeable investor by learning basic investment concepts
- I understand my social security benefits, and have a clear plan for when to begin receiving payments
- I have a good sense of whether or not I can retire when I'd like
- I have a good understanding of whether or not I need long-term care insurance
- I have a detailed list of the expenses I expect to incur in retirement
- I estimated how much money I/we will need monthly in retirement
- I have consolidated financial accounts, such as 401(k) plans, IRA
- I have determined if I will be payment free when I retire, i.e. mortgage, auto, credit cards
- I have completed estate planning documents, such as a will, trust, durable power of attorney, and health-care proxy
- I have considered alternative plans should I/we face unplanned setbacks in retirement
- I have peace of mind
Life is full of uncertainties. Our needs, circumstances, and personal priorities change over time. Ongoing decision making and updating plans are essential throughout retirement. It's a good idea to revisit the tasks involved in preparing for retirement to ensure that you are taking care of all the necessary requirements for a successful transition.
Are you within 5 years from retirement?
If you are within five years of when you would like to retire, you should have at least thirteen answers rated as a 3 or 4. If you do, you are well along the path to making an informed decision.
If you don't, it's time to seriously start thinking about your future retirement and taking action. Use the Retirement Readiness Checklist as a guide for things you will want to do to start getting serious about your retirement decision. It is time to start working with a financial advisor and if you haven't already, get details about potential sources of income from your employer, government benefits, etc. Continue to move along your path towards retirement.
Are you 6-10 years from retirement?
This is the time to really think what your retirement will look like and how you are going to map it out. You should have at least nine to eleven answers rated as a 3 or 4. Preparing for retirement can be overwhelming, but you are on your way to a solid retirement. Keep up the momentum and revisit your Retirement Readiness Checklist to keep you on track.
Are you not quite there? It is okay, but now is the time to buckle down and get on the right path. Do you have a financial plan? If so, meet with your financial advisor and/or attorney to revise the plan and while keeping in mind all the tasks necessary for retirement. Openly communicate with your spouse/partner about your retirement and what that looks like.
Are you 11-15 years from retirement?
Although it may seem too uncertain or far away to consider, this period is critical. Develop financial plans based on your personal and financial goals. By the end of this stage, you should have at least six to eight answers rated as a 3 or 4. By getting on track now you have time to adjust, add to your financial security, and make important initial decisions that will provide a clearer path as you progress toward your retirement goals.