If you are nearing retirement, you may have many plans for how you will spend your time. You may wish to travel, enjoy your favorite hobbies, visit family members or learn new skills. In order to best enjoy your retirement years, experts recommend taking care of a few details in advance of your retirement date. Implementing these five strategies will help you transition to a more relaxed lifestyle with greater ease.
Pay Off Debt
Use the years before your retirement date to pay off any old debt you have accumulated. Many people use this time to pay off their mortgage, finish car loans or eliminate credit card debt. This measure will allow you to use your retirement funds for current needs, instead of for paying off old debts.
Increase Your Savings
In the years before your retirement, you should maximize contributions to your 401(k) and take advantage of any “matching funds” your employer provides. The pre-retirement period is also a good time to see where you can trim your expenses, which will be helpful after your retirement and will provide additional money in your savings.
Downscale Your Housing
The pre-retirement period is a good time to carefully look at your housing needs when you are not working. You may be able to move to a less expensive area, scale down the size of your living quarters or adapt your current home for lower household expenses. Because housing is a significant expense in your budgeting, you should begin to institute your plans early to be ready for your change in lifestyle.
Determine Whether You Want to Work and How Much
This period is also a good time to decide whether you want to keep working for a period of time and how much you want to work. While many people look forward to having time for their own pursuits, others feel they need the structure and social interaction that working provides. A job that requires working for two or three days each week may be the perfect compromise between full retirement and allowing yourself more time for personal enjoyment.
Consider Long-Term Needs
The pre-retirement phase is also a good time to get paperwork in place. Arranging your will, power of attorney and medical directive at this time will ensure you are prepared for any event in the future. You also may wish to purchase a long-term care plan or set aside money for aged care at home, if this is what you desire. Having these details taken care of will allow you to enjoy your retirement, free from worry.
Retirement is generally a time people look forward to, but good planning can make it more enjoyable and free from stress. If you take care of a few financial matters, legal details and psychological needs, you will be able to enjoy a comfortable and productive retirement. These five strategies will ensure that these issues have been properly addressed.