Do you plan on retiring soon? If so, you will need to have a plan for how you will make the most of your retirement years.
Retirement planning isn’t as simple as saving a little bit each month and calling it good. There are a lot of steps that go into planning for your retirement.
Here is a helpful list of 25 things to consider before you decide to retire:
- Review your retirement plan. If you are just starting to plan your retirement and want help doing so, consider consulting with a certified financial planner and pension expert.
- Review your pension plan. If you have an employer-sponsored pension (defined-benefit pension), be sure to make sure you understand how the pension works. Contact a pension expert to review a pension estimate from your employer and explain the commuted value and potential tax benefits and regulations that may apply to you.
- Determine how much money you need and what your monthly expenses will be in retirement. For example, if you are currently paying $1,000 a month for housing, what will that expense be in retirement? Do you have any debts such as credit cards or car loans? These questions will need to be answered so that you can accurately determine how much money you will need in order to maintain your current lifestyle once you stop working. Work with a financial professional to create a financial plan that allows for a steady retirement income so you can continue paying your bills while having some extra cash to enjoy and spend on non-essentials.
- Make sure your employer is aware of your plans to retire. If your employer is a big company, chances are it has resources to help you.
- Make sure you have health insurance in place when retiring so that you are covered if you fall ill or have an accident. If your health deteriorates in retirement, this could force you to leave your home.
- Make sure you have life insurance and adequate disability insurance in place when retiring so that your family can be taken care of in the event of your death.
- Set up your bank accounts for direct deposit of your pension. This is the most convenient way to receive your pension.
- Decide how you will get your mail once you retire and are moving (either to a new home or retirement care centre). If you are getting your mail at the post office, ask for a forwarding address. If you are getting your mail at home, talk with your family about who will get it when you retire.
- Get rid of debt. Pay off credit cards or student loans before retiring. Those bills are not going away when you retire, and paying them will be one less thing you’ll have to worry about when you stop working. If you’re not paying them now, you will be when you retire and it will be harder to pay them then.
- Make arrangements for your utilities. It’s important that you keep your utility bills as steady as possible. Most utility companies allow you to setup a fixed monthly payment that doesn’t change from month-to-month, averaging out your usage over the year. This keeps your payments predictable and easier to budget for.
- Decide where you’ll be living. What will you do with your home? Will you rent or own your home? If you rent, how much will your rent cost? What about utilities? If you’re moving out of your home, arrange for the sale of your home and the move to your new home.
- Plan a vacation before you retire (use up those remaining vacation days!).
- Contact your lawyer to make arrangements for any changes to your will when you retire because you may have different estate plans as a retired person than you did when you were employed. If you own your own business, it’s important to review your will and trust documents. There may be special considerations that need to be addressed in the event of your death or incapacity.
- If you are thinking about moving to another part of the country, be sure to take into account the cost of living.
- Budget for medical costs and medication costs, especially if you are in the age group that is more likely to require medical care. In retirement, you can expect to have a higher out-of-pocket cost for health care.
- You may want to look into senior transportation options and budget for those costs. If you are not able to drive, there are many options that will allow you to get around.
- Start a travel fund. You should save a certain amount of money each month to help you travel. You can travel around the country and even the world. If you are planning to travel, consider using a senior discount program for airfare and other transportation needs. Don’t forget to factor in health insurance costs and costs associated with travel.
- Make sure you have a good credit rating, especially if you want to rent a house, buy a car or take out a loan.
- Consider moving to a retirement community. These communities are very affordable and are set up for retirees to enjoy the comforts of home and a wide variety of activities.
- You may want to consider downsizing your home. You may be able to find a place that is more manageable for you and will be more affordable, especially for property taxes.
- Consider getting a part-time job. You can choose something that is seasonal or something that you can do during the day.
- Find an activity that you enjoy and can do in retirement to keep you active. You can choose to go to classes, volunteer, or get involved in an organization.
- Start a side business. You may want to start a business that you can run while you are retired so you can not only make some side money to spend on things you enjoy, but also to keep yourself actively doing things you’re passionate about.
- Find a hobby. It will help you stay active and keep your mind sharp.
- Plan for the unexpected.
Hopefully these tips have been helpful in your preparation for retirement. You will have more money to enjoy your retirement if you plan ahead!
Retirement planning doesn’t need to be scary, icky, or overwhelming. It just needs to be honest and simple. At Pension Solutions Canada, we want to help you plan for the future with confidence, knowing exactly what you need to do to get where you want to go.
Pension Solutions Canada specializes in helping individuals prepare for retirement and protect their assets. If your pension is currently with your employer, we can walk you through the steps of moving it out of the company through a copycat annuity with a larger insurer such as Canada Life or Sun Life. We’ll also help you with estate planning, address tax minimization, and answer all of your retirement questions.